Classes throughout the San Pedro Valley have been canceled Monday due to purported threats of violence at Benson school.
A post on the Benson Police Dept. Facebook page announced the closure and BUSD Supt. of Schools Micah Mortensen confirmed the posting. Pomerene Elementary and St. David Unified School District also canceled classes citing the ongoing threat. Messages were posted on each school’s facebook page.
“After consulting with Benson PD and recognizing that we can never be too safe with our students - Pomerene Schools will be closed Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. We will plan on re-opening Tuesday, contingent upon the Benson PD investigation. If plans change, we will update via Facebook and the PowerSchool ALERT system,” states the facebook post.
The St. David post is similar.
“It was reported to us that there was a threat made against Benson Schools,” it states. “After receiving information and speaking with law enforcement St. David Unified School District will be closed tomorrow for all students. This decision was made to ensure that your students are safe. School will resume on Tuesday, Oct. 23rd at 8 AM. All after school activities are canceled as well.”
The incident began to unfold Sunday evening after a purported threat supposedly aimed at Benson Middle School appeared on social media and quickly made the rounds.
BUSD was first to cancel classes Sunday evening for Monday with the other districts following suit. Benson Police announced the closure via facebook. Here is the post in its entirety:
“Earlier tonight [Sunday], the Benson Police Department took a report of a threat to the Benson Schools, we are currently working with the school system on the threat. We recommended that classes be canceled tomorrow, and the school has agreed. All Benson Public Schools will be closed tomorrow. The school system will update parents. Anyone with any information about the threats to the school is asked to call the Benson Police Department at 520-586-2211.”
BUSD also notified parents via blast email and posted on the district’s website as well. A separate email to school faculty and staff was also sent, notifying them not to report to school Monday.
The closure is to allow investigators to continue the probe while erring on the side of caution.
“...The decision has been made to close all Benson Schools on Monday, 10/22/18. This will give local law enforcement an opportunity to continue the ongoing investigation regarding the threat,” states the letter, signed by Mortensen.
And that includes all athletics activities and practices. The Benson Bobcats were to host the Morenci Wildcats in their regular season home volleyball finale on Monday.
A threat circulated on the internet purportedly aimed at “BMS” -- see related story -- threatened “...shoot up the school” Monday, Oct. 22 at 12:21 p.m. It was slugged “Attention everybody that goes to BMS.” It remains unclear during the preliminary stages of the investigation whether the threat is actually meant for Benson Middle School but authorities are taking no chances.
Here is BUSD’s letter to parents--
This is a follow up to the previous email regarding the threat to our schools. The decision has been made to close all Benson Schools on Monday, 10/22/18. This will give local law enforcement an opportunity to continue the ongoing investigation regarding the threat.
At this point, all after school activities are cancelled as well. This includes athletic practices, games, and any club activities.
As a reminder, students are our best resources when it comes to information. Should they share any information that might be useful in the investigation, please contact Benson Police Department (520)586-2211.
Please check email and the BUSD Facebook page for updates.”