A Darby High School student is in custody after students told their parents about a disturbing Snapchat post.
The parents contacted school authorities about the Sunday post, which Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton on Monday described as a threat referencing last week's school shooting in Florida that killed 17 people.
MacLean William Kayser, 18, was booked into the Ravalli County Detention Center at 1:30 p.m. Monday on a felony charge of assault with a weapon.
“There will be criminal charges,” Holton said. “The school did what they had to do yesterday — they suspended him, restricted him from campus and notified the Darby Marshal’s Office.”
Superintendent Loyd Rennaker said he has not seen the post on social media.
“Parents brought it to our attention,” he said. “We brought in Darby law enforcement and they did an investigation on Sunday afternoon.”
Law enforcement told Renneker it was fine to have school as usual on Monday.
“I did tell parents this morning that there was an ongoing investigation — partly because there was going to be police presence all day long,” he said. “The concern is that sometimes there are ‘copycats’ and what was on social media made the parents concerned enough.
"What they told us made us concerned enough that we took positive actions to initiate the investigation and do what we could within the policy to keep our kids safe.”
Rennaker said the Darby school policy is that no one is allowed on campus with a gun, except for on-duty law enforcement. Darby does not have a school resource officer, but will have a law enforcement officer on campus all week, he said.
Monday was the first day that Darby school was in session since the Florida shooting on Feb. 14, in which 17 students and teachers were gunned down by a former student. The Darby school was closed Thursday and Friday due to district basketball tournaments.
“My thought was I was going to come to school this morning and talk to our administrative team (about the) ‘If you see something, say something’ kind of a model,” Rennaker said. “We would figure out a way to get that message to kids — maybe an assembly.”
He said students have more information than adults because they know what other youths are saying and doing, adding that during the weekend the students did the right thing, without the assembly training.
“They heard concerning things, they took it to their parents and their parents brought it to us,” Rennaker said. “We are seeing it in action — they were concerned enough to bring it forward.”
Holton said the concern was legitimate and he appreciates the way this was handled.
“All the school districts have been involved in the armed intruder training,” Holton said. “For my part I’m super-proud of all our school districts. That training is what to do until law enforcement shows up.”