Threats to Bothell and Inglemoor High School prompt Bothell closure and Inglemoor partial lockdown

Northshore+School+District+Director+of+Safety+and+Security+Henry+Simon+and+an+officer+of+the+Kenmore+Police+Department+outside+of+Inglemoor+High+School+on+the+morning+of+Dec.+2.++

Kellen Hoard

Northshore School District Director of Safety and Security Henry Simon and an officer of the Kenmore Police Department outside of Inglemoor High School on the morning of Dec. 2.

Kellen Hoard

On Thursday, Dec. 2, Bothell High School was closed following threats from an individual whose identity remains unknown to investigators.  

Graffiti was discovered Tuesday, Nov. 30 on a bathroom stall at Bothell that declared the individual would commit a school shooting on Dec. 2 if they did not stop getting bullied. The message also contained a racial slur. Later, the District learned of additional threats on social media.  

On Dec. 1, Northshore School District Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid sent an email to families notifying them that the school would be closed for 1 day. 

“As with all issues of safety, we are taking the matter seriously. Law enforcement was contacted immediately, and we are continuing to investigate the threat in partnership with the Bothell Police Department and District Safety and Security staff,” Reid wrote. “In addition, we worked with the Bothell Police Department to increase their presence on campus today, including a full sweep of the campus this evening based on more threats of concern made on social media.”

“We did a bomb sweep with police dogs, which was completed [Dec. 1] around 9 PM,” said NSD Director of Safety and Security Henry Simon. He added that “they never found a bomb.  No weapons were found.”  Bothell Police Public Information Officer Cam Johnson confirmed that “the sweep of the school found absolutely nothing.”

Glacier Peak Athletic Director Kevin Judkins said three boys’ basketball games between Bothell and Glacier Peak High School were scheduled to occur on the evening of Dec. 1 at Bothell, but only one took place before the games were cancelled and the crowd evacuated.

Some Bothell staff worked on campus Dec. 2, but not all. “Today the kids are working remotely…and we have one school safety security director there working with the staff to give them support,” said Simon.

“[Having Bothell students back at school on Dec. 3] is the plan as of now, but the issue is still under investigation,” said NSD Chief Communications Officer Lisa Youngblood Hall.

On the evening of Dec. 1, Inglemoor High School Principal Adam Desautels sent an email to students and families informing them of the Bothell closure and noting that “there have since been reports of threats of violence at Inglemoor High School as well.”  

Simon said he thought there was a connection between the threats at Bothell and Inglemoor.

“Sometimes some kids are going to see this kind of thing and say ‘that would be fun to do at our school, maybe we should do that.’ That’s the concern of a copycat,” Simon said.  

In an interview, Desautels said that NSD Safety and Security had received a call from a parent about an undefined threat at a specific location on the Inglemoor campus. After investigating the location, no causes for concern were identified.  Regardless, there was additional security from officers of the Kenmore Police Department, King County Sheriff’s Office, and district security on the campus Dec. 2. 

“There was no credibility to that claim,” said Youngblood Hall.  But concern among students and families at Inglemoor remained.

Inglemoor Attendance Secretary Paula Kartchner said she received 137 calls excusing students from attendance on Dec. 2.  She estimated only about 10 were unrelated to the threats and noted that she had about 100 additional unopened emails regarding excusals she predicted would be related to the threat.

In an email to families on Nov. 30, Bothell High School Principal Juan Price noted his appreciation of those who notified the school.  

“We are proud of the students who immediately brought the information to our attention. We appreciate them stepping forward and following the ‘see something say something’ approach that helps keep students and staff informed and safe,” Price said. “The information has been invaluable.”

Youngblood Hall echoed a similar sentiment. “We appreciate all of the information that has come forward, and we are hoping that we are able to gather any necessary information to get to the source.”

“[The Bothell Police Department] will continue to work closely with the district and do whatever we can to help students, teachers, staff and families feel safe,” Johnson said.  

During the 7th period on Dec. 2, Inglemoor went into a modified lockdown for approximately 50 minutes.  A modified lockdown requires that all doors be locked and all students remain in classrooms, but that lights can remain on and class activity can continue. According to Desautels, the administration had been made aware of a previously unknown threat over social media. While the time of the supposed threat had passed before the lockdown began, the school took those safety measures “out of an abundance of caution.”

In her Dec. 1 email, Reid urged anyone with information about the threat at Bothell to contact the Bothell Police Department at their non-emergency phone number 425-486-1254 or the District via its 24-hour Safe Schools Alert System at 885-521-2665.