Ontario High School student charged in threat

An OHS student was removed from the school Thursday after reports of a violent action were received from staff and students. (Pat Caldwell/The Enterprise)

ONTARIO – A 15-year-old Ontario High School student was charged with disorderly conduct Thursday in connection with a report he planned a violent act at the school

Police and school officials said the sophomore was overhead making threats against other students and a notebook found in the student’s backpack contained a threat to blow up the school.

Cal Kunz, Ontario police chief, said a school resource officer investigated after other students tipped school authorities. The officer identified the student, who was asked to empty his pockets and whose backpack was searched. Police contacted the student’s parents and searched the family home. They found no evidence the teen had any weapons or explosives.

The juvenile is under the jurisdiction of the Malheur County Juvenile Department.

Nicole Albisu, Ontario school district superintendent, said the young man will not return to school any time soon.

“Policy states he will remain suspended until a mental health evaluation is completed, forwarded to the district and then a meeting with the boy’s parents will occur before a decision is made,” said Albisu.

Albisu stressed at no time were students or staff in danger and parents were notified of the incident by the district’s Facebook page.

“Our goal was to get the information out as soon as possible and ensure the safety of all involved,” Albisu said. “We tried to communicate the information early, but people must understand we are limited on what information we can give out as juveniles are involved.”

Students returned to school on Friday without incident.

“These are scary situations and you always see an uptick in this after the media has reported on a mass shooting in my experience,” said Dave Goldthorpe, Malheur County district attorney.

Goldthrope said that Oregon law doesn’t have a crime that fits a situation where a student makes a verbal threat but does not possess a firearm or explosives.