CODY — Parents with children enrolled schools here have been notified of a possible shooting threat at Cody Middle School, and there will be an increased police presence at local schools Friday.
At about 8:30 p.m. Thursday, a voicemail was sent to all parents on the Park County School District 6 mailing list. The message was from Superintendent Vernon Orndorff, who alerted parents of a “recent development” that concerned the safety of students in Cody.
In a follow-up call to parents Friday morning, parents were informed the threat has been deemed not credible.
‘Swift and Decisive Action’
“Mr. Jacob Gogan, principal at Cody Middle School, was made aware of a situation involving a potential threat,” Orndorff said in a district-wide voicemail. “A student reported to Mr. Gogan overhearing a conversation between two students that raised concerns about a possible school shooting threat at Cody Middle School on Friday.”
Orndorff admitted that the information was “not detailed and vague,” but the school district and the Cody Police Department immediately started an investigation into the threat.
Because of the threat, Orndorff announced an increased police presence at all Park County School District No. 6 schools for the entire school day. Friday.
“We will continue to actively investigate any such reports or alleged incidents,” he said. “Our utmost priority is to keep you informed and ensure the safety and security of our scholars, staff and community.”
Principal Gogan released a statement shortly after, acknowledging the situation and addressing parents’ concerns.
He explained that school administration received information from a student “who reported overhearing a conversation between two students regarding a possible school shooting threat. Immediate action was taken.”
He also said the threat was taken seriously and will continue to be monitored.
“All parties involved treated the situation with the utmost seriousness and conducted a comprehensive assessment to determine the credibility and potential risk,” he said.
Gogan assured parents that Cody Middle School “will be safe and open” Friday, but he understands if any parents want to keep their students at home for the day.
“We do respect the rights of our parents and guardians when it comes to making informed decisions about their students’ attendance and safety,” he said.
Parents with children who might have known details about the incident are encouraged to contact the district office or the Cody Police Department.
Taking No Chances With Threats
Park County School District No. 6 has dealt with several threats of violence so far this year.
On April 3, schools in Cody, Powell, Rock Springs, Gillette, Casper, Cheyenne and Sheridan were placed under lockdown after a threat of violence was made on social media. The threat was later discovered to be a statewide “swatting incident” and deemed not credible.
A few days later on April 5, Cody High School and Cody Middle School were in lockdown again after a “direct threat” was made through another social media post. Students were told to shelter in place, and the Cody Police Department responded to both schools immediately.
The lockdowns were lifted within an hour, and the threat was deemed not credible.
Andrew Rossi can be reached at email@example.com.