PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Parents say Corbett School District is not being transparent after waiting a month to notify parents their child was on a “kill list” when a student reportedly took to social media and threatened to murder numerous classmates.
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office told KOIN 6 News they are investigating and, as of now, they do not believe the threat is credible.
The Corbett School District superintendent, Derek Fialkiewiez, told parents he learned about the threat on July 15 and immediately notified the sheriff’s office. However, Fialkiewiez said he was told by the sheriff’s office not to contact parents about it.
KOIN 6 News obtained a copy of a video message Fialkiewiez sent families where he explained the timeline of events.
“We received information about this on July 15. I immediately contacted Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, they put a deputy on it. That deputy started to investigate, and we were ready to send out communication, but the sheriff’s office informed us at this time there were extenuating circumstances that made to where we should not send out communication yet and they asked us to wait on sending communication. That go ahead was given to us last Friday afternoon,” Fialkiewiez said in the video.
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office told KOIN 6 News that no one from the sheriff’s office advised the district on when to communicate with parents.
On Tuesday afternoon, KOIN 6 News reached out to the superintendent about the discrepancy in statements, but have not heard back.
On Monday, the district said the investigation and risk assessment has concluded, and it was determined by the sheriff’s office the threat was not credible and there was no safety risk at this time.
However, parents tell KOIN 6 News they want to know what action has been taken against the student and if the student will be returning to school this year.
A father, who asked to remain anonymous, said his son was one of the students on the so-called “kill list”. He wants to know what led investigators to believe this is not a credible threat.
“Full transparency here. Like I understand, you know, we found out the individual’s name through other means that obviously the police won’t do because they need to protect his privacy too, I guess,” the parent explained. “Complete transparency otherwise. What did you find that makes you say that this isn’t credible? I just think the book just needs to be open just for all involved, for all parents.”
In a statement to KOIN 6 News on Tuesday, MCSO said “On July 15, 2022, a deputy took a report of a threat from the Corbett School District Superintendent. The deputy interviewed the superintendent and the suspect’s parent. The deputy attempted to talk to the suspect, but they were traveling with family out of state. Our investigators did not advise school officials about when to communicate with families. Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office detectives have completed numerous interviews and reviewed all related social media posts related to this threat. At this time, it remains that MCSO does not believe this threat is credible, nor does MCSO believe that there is a public safety risk.”
The sheriff’s office added “out of an abundance of caution, during the first week of school, MCSO will conduct high visibility patrols and maintain a presence at the school. MCSO takes all threats of violence very seriously, especially when children and schools are involved. Our investigation into this threat is on-going. When it is complete, the case will be referred to the Multnomah County District Attorney to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.”
On Monday, the superintendent told KOIN 6 News “last Monday I sent the message below to all families in Corbett School District. Friday I sent an email to all families with a letter from Sergeant Robertson of MCSO and further information from myself which included:
The Corbett School district is collaborating with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office on investigating and assessing the risk of a social media threat from one student toward a number of students. The investigation and risk assessment has concluded and it was determined by MCSO the threat was not credible and there was no safety risk at this time. The Corbett School District takes this and all threats extremely seriously and is doing everything in its power to provide a safe learning environment for its students and staff. In an abundance of caution, MCSO has agreed to provide a deputy presence on the Corbett School District campus during at least the first week of school. Corbett School District is collaborating with the MCSO Citizen’s Patrol for added supervision in the parking lots before and after school. Students and families have provided suggestions that are being implemented to limit access to the campus during the school day and provide a school environment where students feel safe. Additionally, mental health and counseling services are available at no cost for students and families of Corbett School District.
As I am sure you are aware, we cannot provide any specifics regarding this situation, or any other matter involving students or staff.”