Dawson Springs Independent Schools and its school resource officer were alerted to a threat that was found written on a stall in a girls restroom at the high school Thursday morning, according to Superintendent Lenny Whalen.

Dawson Springs Police Chief Mike Opalek confirmed he is conducting an investigation into the incident, but did not offer any additional comment.

A student found the threat under the toilet paper dispenser in one of the girls bathrooms. The student mentioned it to the secretary. Whalen and other district and school officials were in a meeting at the school when the secretary came in to tell them of the threat at approximately 8:35 a.m.

The written threat included the date of Nov. 7 and made a reference to "shoot up the school," Whalen said.

The district remained in "high-alert" mode throughout the day, Whalen said in a news

see threat/page a4

release. An alert went out to all those parents and stakeholders at 11:26 a.m. The alert directed the listener to the district website or to the district Facebook page, where the news release had been posted.

School resource officer, Jim Saddler, with the Dawson Springs Police Department, is also involved in the investigation.

Whalen said those who were in and around the area at the time of the threat are being questioned. He asked that anyone with knowledge of the threat to come forward.

"To this point, we have no evidence or word that there is any truth to this threat," Whalen said. "In any case, we treat all threats as if they are real."

He added that a more saturated law enforcement presence will be at the school through the day and as long as needed.

In the release, Whalen reminds parents to speak to students about making threats. Those who are found to have a part in any threat will be punished at school and turned over to law enforcement for punishment as well. The offense would be considered second-degree terroristic threatening, a felony.

"Rest assured, we will not tolerate any threats or violence in any form," Whalen said.

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