Police respond to threat at Nome-Beltz
On Friday, April 26 at approximately 3:15 p.m., a Nome-Beltz Jr./Sr. High School student made a verbal threat involving guns and shooting up the school. According to a communication to parents from NBHS Principal Jon Berkley, the threat was made in the Mezzanine on the second floor where the student looked at the indoor target range that had been used when NBHS still had a JROTC program and riflery classes. A staff member was present. The incident occurred at the end of the school day and Berkeley stated that at no time were students or staff in danger and “at no time was the student around any weapons such as firearms and was not carrying a backpack during the day.”
The school’s administration reported the threat to the Nome Police Department. An officer responded and received the report and contact information for the student. According to a NPD statement, the juvenile was interviewed over the weekend with cooperation of the parents. The District Attorney’s office was notified of the charges. The juvenile was charged for making Terroristic Threats in the Second Degree, was taken into custody and remanded to the Juvenile Youth Facility.
“We are confident that our school is a safe place for students to continue to attend, and anticipate a positive end to the current school year,” said Jamie Burgess, Superintendent of Nome Public Schools. “We have school crisis response procedures in place to ensure staff and student safety in the case of a threat, and these procedures are practiced on a regular basis.”
According to Berkeley’s letter, students and staff participated in two lockdown drills this semester and are familiar with “what to do in the event of an intruder.”
The school held an assembly on Monday, April 29 to discuss the incident with their student body. Berkeley stated in his letter that the school will continue to coordinate with the Nome Police Department to discuss school violence with students.
This is not the first time a threat of this nature was made at Nome Beltz. On Sept. 10, 2018 NPD responded to the high school when a student made threats to harm multiple students. He was arrested and charged with terroristic threatening in the second degree. The student has been released on conditions and, according to CourtView, a preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for May 21.