The Benton Community School District and the Benton County Sheriff's Office are investigating a threat written on the wall of a restroom earlier this week.

The threat reads verbatim:

“ON April 17 I going to blow this school up. Only After I Shoot as many people as I can then kill myself”.

School officials plan to have law enforcement personnel on the school campuses tomorrow, but the class and activity schedule so far has not been changed. That schedule includes the Bobcat Invitational Track Meet, in which the Vinton-Shellsburg boys and girls teams are both scheduled to compete.

VS Superintendent Mary Jo Hainstock expressed confidence in the safety of students, and in the leadership of the Benton district to "put the students's safety first."

Benton County Sheriff Randy Forsyth went to the school Wednesday to help investigate the threat.

The message from Benton Superindent Gary Zittergruen to district families is below:

Benton Community Students and Parents,

This communication is to notify you that a handwritten message and threat was discovered in a boys restroom on the lower level of the MS/HS building this morning by a high school student and reported to a staff member and then to the administration for investigation. The threat was written on the wall in a restroom stall and reads as follows: “ON April 17 I going to blow this school up. Only After I Shoot as many people as I can then kill myself”.

This matter is under investigation and any information that can assist the school district and the Benton County Sheriff’s Office in finding the party responsible for this action would be greatly appreciated. As a result of this situation, security and awareness will be increased throughout the remainder of this week. Benton Community is working with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office and will be taking additional security measures on Thursday in response to the threat. Law enforcement officers will be at the MS/HS on Thursday, April 17th and we will require all students and staff to enter the building for the school day through Entrance # 1. Please know that the school district does not take these threats lightly and supports and believes it necessary to implement the additional safety and security measures for our students and employees. Thank you.

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