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ELC, police investigate text message

By Staff | Oct 4, 2017

Estherville Lincoln Central school superintendent Tara Paul broadcasted a message about a concerning message received by a student.

An ELC high school student received a concerning text message at approximately 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3. The message was coded and from an apparently untraceable number. The student shared the message with the school resource officer. ELC administrators are working in tangent with the Estherville Police Department to investigate the messages and their origins. Paul said it is an ongoing investigation.

The police used an unofficial decoding website, and that decoding revealed a message that may indicate sentiment of a shooting. The school was not specifically named in the message.

These types of messages are popping up across the state. Classes in Algona district were cancelled today after a similar threat was received last night. Algona authorities said classes were cancelled as a precaution, because the credibility of the threat could not be determined.

Johnston School District, just outside Des Moines, cancelled classes Tuesday, but resumed class Wednesday after law enforcement officials there determined the threat was not credible.

A threat received by the parent of a student in Sioux City Schools was also deemed non-credible by local law enforcement.

Clarion-Goldfield-Dows, Belmond-Klemme and Eagle Grove schools went into lockdown Wednesday afternoon due to a threat received at Clarion-Goldfield-Dows.

In eastern Iowa, a social media threat of a shooting at Davenport North High School set off an investigation, but classes were kept in session as law enforcement determined the threat was not credible.

Storm Lake High School was evacuated Monday afternoon after a bomb threat was written on the wall of a men’s restroom. The building was determined to be safe.

Paul said in her message extra security measures were put into place. “We will continue to remain very diligent as we continue to investigate the situation,” Paul said.

Anyone who hears or notices suspicious activities should contact the ELC Central Office at 712-362-2692 or local law enforcement at 712-362-3515.