WSD targeted by swatting call
May 18, 2023
Wahkiakum School District was the target of what is being referred to as a swatting call last Thursday morning. The Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office received an untraceable phone call at 9:55 a.m. indicating a threat of violence from someone claiming to be an active shooter in the parking lot at Wahkiakum High School.
Deputy Brian Hornback and State Patrol officers responded immediately and the school was secured, while students, who were all accounted for, continued their studies in district classrooms. After finding no immediate or discernible threat, law enforcement and senior staff at the school made a complete sweep of the buildings and campus to determine there was in fact, no real threat that day.
“At 10:48 a.m., law enforcement, in conjunction with school staff, officially determined our campus was safe and resumed normal activities,” Superintendent Brent Freeman wrote in a letter to parents.
Swatting is defined as a dangerous and illegal prank where someone makes a false report of a serious crime, such as a hostage taker or active shooter, in order to send a SWAT team or law enforcement to a targeted location.
According to Hornback, the school district was part of a “gaggle of targets” in the region, and there are reports that districts in Shelton, Port Angeles, and Port Townsend also received threats that morning. School districts in the state of Washington and throughout the United States have been targeted by swatting calls in recent days, weeks, and months.
“We took this incident very seriously and are grateful for the quick response of law enforcement as well as the support of our staff team,” Freeman said in his letter. “Please know that our response today was swift, accurate, and with the sole focus on the safety of every single kid and every single staff member.”
“Unfortunately, calls threatening violence at schools have been made to school districts around the state over the last several weeks and this appears to be an ongoing intentional disruption aimed at schools,” Freeman continued.
He thanked and commended the sheriff’s office, the responding deputy, and the responding state patrol officers for their quick response, professionalism while on site, and their thoroughness in returning the district to their educational activities.