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E-mail threat locks down Lac qui Parle Valley High School

MADISON -- An e-mail threatening students and staff led to a partial lockdown Monday of Lac qui Parle Valley High School.

Principal Jon Fulton said a secretary discovered the e-mail Monday morning and alerted him. He notified law enforcement officials, who began investigating the e-mail.

"You have to take all these things seriously," he said, so the school was locked down, limiting public access to the rural Madison building and the people inside.

Law enforcement officers were at the school for the rest of the day. The school sent a note home with students to explain the situation, Fulton said.

The e-mail included the name of a male student at the school. Law enforcement interviewed him and his friends and searched his home.

The investigation determined that the student had no connection to the source of the e-mail, Fulton said.

The e-mail appeared to have originated in Amsterdam, he said.

Fulton said he was proud of how peacefully the students and staff dealt with the situation.

"Our students are handling this really well," he said. "They feel safe."

Classes and after-school activities went on as scheduled. "The thing we want to stress -- everybody was really calm," he said.

Fulton said he was confident in the investigation conducted by the Lac qui Parle County Sheriff's Department, in a cooperative effort with the Swift County Sheriff's Department and the Appleton Police Department.

Because the e-mail was similar to e-mail threats received in Minneapolis schools last week, local law enforcement contacted the Minneapolis Police Department. The state Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI are also assisting with the investigation.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

(320) 214-4340