Rumors disturb TTHS on Columbine anniversary
Students, administrators, teachers and parents around the country couldn’t avoid thinking about the Columbine shooting as the first anniversary of the tragedy approached on April 20.
Truckee was no exception.
More than 400 students at Tahoe-Truckee High School were absent from school last Thursday as rumors circulated earlier in the week that two students were planning another Columbine incident would happen at the school.
April 20 was also “Junior Ditch Day,” and school staff believe many of those absent were participating in the annual junior class tradition rather than missing school out of fear of a violent incident.
Although the rumors were never confirmed, local authorities reacted quickly after the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a parent about rumors of an incident. According to TTHS Assistant Principal Mike Finney, on Tuesday, April 18, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Department received a phone call from a student’s parent.
The parent reported hearing that a particular student was going to do harm to TTHS students.
Rumors ranged from allegations of threatening emails sent to other students, threatening phone calls, a planned bomb threat at the school to rumors at the end of the school day Thursday that sheriff’s officers had been shot at on school property and one student was dead in the gymnasium.
“There were just a bunch of rumors going around,” NCSO Lt. David Baxley said. “But we took it very seriously.”
Baxley NCSO personnel were on the TTHS campus Wednesday and Thursday.
In a letter sent home to all TTHS parents earlier this week, Finney explained
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Nevada County is now likely to remain in the red tier barring “extenuating circumstances,” thanks to changes to the state’s reopening blueprint announced this week.