Wapato Middle School

Wapato Middle School

The Yakima County Sheriff’s Department is investigating threats made on social media against Wapato Middle School and its students.

The district increased security this week, though law enforcement officials said there is no evidence students are in danger.

School officials became aware of the threat Thursday evening, according to a district announcement. They then contacted Wapato’s school resource officer, deputy Bobby Miranda of the Yakima County Sheriff’s Department.

Multiple students have come forward with threatening messages sent to them on the social media platform Snapchat. The threats vary in content and come from different accounts, which makes it difficult to tally exactly how many there have been, Miranda said. The threats have been against the school at large and against specific students.

Miranda cautioned parents to monitor their children’s social media use and warned young people not to accept Snapchat friend requests from people they do not know.

The investigation does not have any suspects at this time and is ongoing. Officials have not found any evidence that students are directly in danger, Miranda said.

Nevertheless, the district is taking the threat seriously, district spokesperson Mike Balmelli said.

“In working with law enforcement and our other security measures that are in place, we’re trying to make sure that the learning environment is as safe as we can make it for our students and our staff,” he said.

Extra school safety officers were placed on its campuses Monday, with a concentration at the middle school, Balmelli said. Most of the district’s schools are in close proximity to one another.

Students did not attend school Friday due to a previously scheduled staff professional development day.

Wapato Middle School serves about 800 students in grades six through eight.

Editor’s note: This article was updated to include additional information.

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