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East Valley students made threats toward LGBTQ+ community, superintendent says

East Valley School District canceled all schools on March 31 after learning of threats made against LGBTQ+ students.

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — East Valley School District (EVSD) campuses were closed Friday as the district investigated threats made on social media. In a new statement, the district superintendent said the threats were made toward LGBTQ+ students by East Valley students.

The district said the threats were made against East Valley High School students. In a letter to parents, EVSD said law enforcement is involved and conducting its own investigation. The superintendent also said several arrests have been made and current students involved in the threats have been expelled.

EVSD said the closure of all campuses was to "ensure the safety and security of our students and staff. 

All school-related activities scheduled for March 31 have also been canceled. The district has spring break next week, meaning students will not return to class until April 10.

Here is the full message from the superintendent regarding the threat and decision to cancel school:

As promised, I am following up to share that information which I am able to provide. Though I have to consider how much is wise to disclose, I am taking the risk of oversharing. If we are to improve as a school community and community at large, it is going to be through truth, regardless of how difficult that truth is.

The social media threats made last night, resulting in the closure of all eight campuses today, were not anonymous. Unfortunately, those who perpetrated the threats are (or were) East Valley students. Though no victims were named, threats of harm were made against EVHS students who identify as LGBTQ+. Law enforcement was immediately contacted and the legal process was underway while I was communicating the closure of our schools just before midnight yesterday. Several arrests have been made already today and additional arrests are anticipated. Furthermore, the individuals known to be involved in the threats will be emergency expelled; be assured a full and thorough investigation is in process. I will send out another message next week and prior to our schools returning from spring break. 

Aside from being your school district superintendent, I am also a father. As both, I feel compelled to share my raw heart today. The intolerance, ignorance, and hate that sometimes comes to and through the schoolhouse doors is horrific at best. It is the same hate, intolerance, and ignorance displayed throughout society on any given day. After all, schools are but a microcosm of society. The cruelty of the world, and that which humanity places upon its own kind, is far more disturbing than the words I am able to come up with. I do not live in a fantasy land; however, I do believe in kindness and most definitely in the golden rule. This incident does not define East Valley; this is not who we are or who we wish to be. We will continue our efforts to educate and to practice acceptance. Hate has no place in East Valley.

I stand with, and in this case, in front of our students against hate. I humbly ask you to stand with me...and for them. 

This is a developing story. KREM 2 News will update this article as we learn more information.

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