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Superintendent Apologizes to Helena, MT Community in Wake of Bomb Threats Allegedly Made by Dublin Teen

Dr. Stephen Hanke issued a letter today asking parents to talk to their children about appropriate behavior when using social media and technology

By AUTUMN JOHNSON

Dublin Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hanke issued a letter to parents of student in the Dublin schools today addressing the arrest of a Dublin High student believed to have made several bomb threats calls to schools in Helena, Montana last week.

The anonymous calls prompted the evacuation of over 9000 staff and students in Lewis and Clark County on two separate days.

[Related article: FBI Helped Crack Dublin Teen's Alleged Bomb Threats to 'Heleena']

The 14-year-old was arrested on Friday at Dublin High School and is facing three counts of felony intimidation, said the court records filed March 21 in Montana First Judicial District Youth Court in Lewis and Clark County.  

Read the full letter below—

Dear Parent/Guardians:

By now you may have heard that one of our students at Dublin High School is involved in an investigation for making online threats to several schools in Helena, Montana last week.  

Thankfully, no one was physically hurt in the incidents.  However, schools were evacuated, children were frightened, and valuable instructional time was lost.  We are cooperating with the Dublin Police Department and other police agencies who are investigating these incidents. 

We are all saddened by these acts and are taking appropriate action in investigating and dealing with the issue. Our sincere apologies go out to the students, staff, parents and the community of Helena. 

I have been in contact with the Superintendent in Helena to apologize on behalf of the school district and Board of Trustees. Sean Kenney, our Board President, has also been in contact with the Board Chairperson in Helena, expressing our regret for the difficulties this caused their district.

In the meantime, we are reaching out to our teachers, asking them to discuss with students the importance of practicing good “digital citizenship” whenever texting, emailing, or gaming with others online.  We ask that you join us in talking with your son or daughter about the importance of appropriate behavior while using any form of social media. 

Your diligence in keeping a watchful eye on the ways in which your children are using technology is essential for creating and maintaining a safe environment for everyone.

You can access some helpful information on this link www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ss/se/bullyfaq.asp#safeinternet.  Click on the section titled “What can parents do to promote safe use of the Internet?”   

Thank you for your support.

Dr. Stephen Hanke Superintendent
timothy March 27, 2014 at 04:14 PM
Nice. I think unfortunately most of the parents are too tired from a day at the office to do this. Maybe ask the parents but replace teaching state mandated history lessons about gay people and farmworkers with such lessons like this one that are more meaningful in LIFE. That is a good start.
Becky March 27, 2014 at 04:23 PM
Just because he attended a Dublin high school doesn't mean the Superintendent needs to send out a letter to the parents of every kid in the district.
L March 27, 2014 at 05:25 PM
Timothy - Really? Now, I have no problem with teachers discussing proper behavior on the internet. It is a valuable lesson. However, teachers are not parents. If parents are "too tired" from the office, they better figure out how to squeeze a 15 minute conversation in between email sessions and take care of their kids, or else deal with the consequences of having delinquent children.

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