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Police patrol after Three Forks High School threatened

By Colin Cashin, KTVM Reporter, ccashin@ktvm.com
Published On: Apr 29 2014 09:47:25 AM MDT
Updated On: Apr 29 2014 10:38:05 PM MDT
THREE FORKS, Mont. -

The Gallatin County sheriff says they may have a suspect behind threats aimed at Three Forks High School student.

We first reported this story last month, when a student was allegedly threatened over a text message application.

Tuesday, Three Forks High School told parents and students it requested increased police patrols after learning of a new threat.

Three Forks Superintendent Jerry Breen posted a letter on the school's website Tuesday morning telling students and parents about the extra deputies.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin tells us investigators believe this recent threat is connected to the one in March, and they think they have found the sender, a juvenile who does not attend Three Forks High School.

Gootkin says, like the last threat, this one involved a text message app that aims to hide the identity of the sender.

Gootkin told us, "That's exactly what we're looking into, is that same type of technology. And that's what's similar to the last complaint that we had, so that's the reason we're working on that in Bozeman, along with the Bozeman police department. They're assisting us with that."

Gootkin revealed this time the threat wasn't just against the student, but the school as well.

We spoke to residents and students about the threats today.

Claudia terTelgte isn't just a resident of Three Forks, she's also a grandparent raising two children who attend Three Forks schools.

terTelgte said, "We are a small community and trouble is coming to our small community."

She told NBC Montana she's concerned not enough is being done to keep students safe in the wake of the new threats made.

terTelgte says locking down the school or using metal detectors is necessary in today's society. She explained, "I think that even in small America that is exactly what should be going on."

However, almost every Three Forks High Student we spoke to wasn't concerned at all.

Three Forks High School student Zerek Blackford told us, "Today was just a regular day." He says that although the students were made aware of the threats, most people didn't make much of them. "Overall, though, I don't think anyone really noticed or wasn't as panicky as last time this occured."

Just one student we spoke to after class was concerned for their safety -- which is exactly was Claudia terTelgte says all parents and school officials should be.

terTelgte warned, "We need to be so concerned about our children that we do something about it."