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School threat 'never related to Butte' says sheriff, originated in Washington

Posted at 9:54 AM, Mar 15, 2024

BUTTE — A school threat that led to the shutdown of Butte High School on Thursday originated out of state and was never related to Butte, according to Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff Ed Lester.

Sheriff Lester said in an update late Thursday that Butte police investigators and other Montana law enforcement determined the threat that was posted to the social media platform Snapchat originated in Washington state.

According to Sheriff Lester, the post was widely shared and eventually received by a Butte High student who reported it to the school resource officer. Several officers responded, and school officials closed the school until an investigation could be conducted.

"It's unfortunate that the Snapchat caused the loss of a school day. But, it takes time to chase these things down and the safety of the students and staff always comes first," Sheriff Lester said in the update.

Butte School District Superintendent Judy Jonary said in a message to student families that the person responsible for the initial post has been taken into custody, and the Butte School District was never a target of the threat.

All schools in the district, including Butte High School, will follow their regular school schedule on Friday, March 15.