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School officials and law enforcement respond following knife incident at Chief Joseph Middle School

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Posted at 7:26 PM, May 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-04 14:55:03-04

BOZEMAN, Montana — A Chief Joseph Middle Schooler is facing charges after officials say he brought a knife to school and threatened students with it on Wednesday morning.

"The juvenile suspect in today’s incident is in custody and detained at a juvenile detention facility in another city. The juvenile is facing charges of Assault with Weapon, and Assault on a Peace or Judicial Officer. The number of counts for each of those offenses is still under investigation," Dana McNeil, Detective Captain of the Bozeman Police Department, told MTN News in an email.

Casey Bertram, Superintendent of Bozeman Public Schools said three resource officers used force to disarm the 7th grader, who had a folding knife, in order to deescalate the situation.

“At approximately 8 AM, a seventh-grade student at CJMS middle school arrived on the playground area behind the school. The student had a knife and was showing it to other students. The student allegedly threatened multiple students with the knife. No students were injured in the process," Bertram explained.

MTN News heard from one parent who said she is upset that she was not notified as soon as the school learned of a possible situation.

Bozeman Public Schools responded that they notified parents as soon as they had the information to do so.

“Our first duty is to secure the environment; make sure students and staff are safe. This morning, many things were occurring at the same time: we were securing the area, gathering the names of students who were impacted. We were setting up a counseling room and a reunification area because the main office was impacted, and we were working on factual messaging for our families, students, and staff.”

As of 12:45 on Wednesday afternoon, nearly half of the 750 CJMS students had been picked up by parents.

“We are aware that many students witnessed the event this morning and a variety of student cell phone videos are being circulated on social media. To ensure the Bozeman Police Department has all that information relevant to the case, please share any and all video evidence with the Bozeman Police Department,” Bertram requested.

If your child has any other direct involvement with the situation and has not yet been interviewed by police, school officials added, please reach out to Bozeman Police.

”School violence across the country happens too often, and when it hits home; there's something occurring within your child's school district, that's not a good feeling," said Bertram.

The school will have ongoing counseling services available to students as requested.