Flathead Valley schools closed Friday - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Flathead Valley schools closed Friday

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Thousands of students and teachers are forced to stay home for a second day in a row, as schools in the Flathead Valley will remain closed Friday due to threats made on students there. 

The threats surface just one day after a school shooting in Rockford, Washington, which left one student dead, and three others injured.

Emotions of shock, confusion, and even fear are resonating throughout the Flathead Valley Thursday night,

"Hearing that every school in the valley was closed was pretty shocking," says one mother.

"I thought it was the safest place for kids in a way," says another.

Our safe havens for our children, our schools in Flathead County, have been forced to close their doors upon receiving what law enforcement is calling "digital threats" via text and email.

"At this point,” says Jack Eggensperger, Flathead County Superintendent of Schools. “We know that Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Smith Valley and West Valley, received the threats."

The digital threats were sent late Wednesday night - - first to Columbia Falls High School.

Then they spread to other schools in the county, although, the superintendent would not elaborate on the content of these messages.

As a precautionary measure, almost 30 schools decided to cancel classes.

This included several preschools, after-school programs, and Flathead Valley Community College.

“Every school district has a plan, an emergency operation plan, and they vary from a little bit from district to district depending on their location and what they have, their facilities that they have," says Eggensperger.

Right now, the Flathead County sheriff's office and the Columbia Falls police department are teaming with the FBI to identify the suspects.

The sheriff says they are interviewing "Persons of interest."

Deputies and officers are adding extra patrols around area schools, all in an effort to keep our children safe,

“There will be an additional police presence for a few more days,” says Eggensperger.  “Our number one priority is safety of students and staff."

Because for some, the fear is already lingering,

"You know cause people can make threats and not go through with them,” One mother we spoke with went on to say. “And then not make any threats and then the next week just so up so that's terrifying."

Also, as a precaution, all offices and the early childhood center are closed Friday as well.

Eggensperger says all extra-curricular activities that needed to leave the school before 10:00 a.m. Friday are also canceled.

The decision to hold activities, planned for Friday afternoon and Saturday, will be made Friday morning, and, of course, we will let you know.

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