Threats Found in Knoxville Schools Have Community on Edge

KNOXVILLE, Iowa -- There have been threats discovered in Knoxville schools two days in a row; first at the high school on Wednesday, then at the middle school on Thursday. The threats have caused fear and anxiety in the community. Both police and school officials say in these tense times any and all threats are taken seriously.

"It`s a little concerning for people, especially for parents," said April Whitson. "It`s just, who knows, your kid`s in school, and what happens? I have a niece and nephews in school here, and it`s just, it worries me."

"I have friends that are, their lives are on the line because of this and it`s just really heartbreaking to see," said Kris Kaster. "I just hope that whoever does it just stops, because this is unacceptable."

If the idea was a joke, it was not found to be humorous by anyone.

"It`s not funny and even if they wanted a day out of school, it could be very upsetting for some people and it needs to be taken seriously," said Staci Stanton.

School officials and police have been and are taking the threats very seriously, even though the threats were deemed to be not credible.

"We look at the totality of everything going on," said Lieutenant Aaron Fuller with the Knoxville Police Department. "Yesterday, there was a somewhat vague threat written on the wall in the boys bathroom. It didn`t necessarily target anybody or any school. It didn`t target any particular person, any particular group. It just said a very vague, vague message about death. Today’s message was somewhat similar, except it gave some specifics. However, those specifics, looked at overall, they don’t really make sense or lead us to believe that the threat could or would be carried out."

In the meantime, lots of resources were tied up.

"Not only does school staff and law enforcement have to take time away, time that we frankly don`t have, to spend on an investigation like this," said Lt. Fuller. "You know, you hurt other kids, for instance, sports competitions were cancelled for today because of this, because we canceled school early."

Investigations remain under way. Police do have suspects in both cases, but so far no one has been charged.

If you have any information regarding the threats made at the high school or middle school, please call 641-828-0554 and ask to speak with a Knoxville Police Officer.