Prairie City School District Superintendent/Principal Casey Hallgarth.

Officials lack evidence to investigate a reported threat in Prairie City.

Ashley Stevick told the Eagle she heard from a parent of a student at Prairie City School that other students had threatened to “kill liberals” should President Donald Trump lose the election.

Prairie City School Superintendent Casey Hallgath said he received a call last week regarding the allegations and claims of bullying at the school.

“We don’t tolerate that, so if somebody makes a threat like that we instantly take the individual and talk to them with our counselor,” Hallgarth said. “Then we would contact the parents, but (the source) didn’t say who the parents were and wouldn’t give me any information.”

Hallgarth said, without the information or names, the school would not be able to do much to address the allegations. Another person called him to report the same information but also withheld details from Hallgarth that could be used to address the allegations.

“Go tell the parents to call me, and we’ll figure this out,” Hallgarth said.

Both individuals said they felt threatened. Hallgarth said, if that is the case, they need to immediately call law enforcement or dispatch and let them know. The Grant County Sheriff’s office can be reached at 541-575-1131.

Sheriff Glenn Palmer has not responded to calls from the Eagle regarding the allegation.

John Day Police Chief Mike Durr said the department has not received a report of that happening in John Day but said, if the allegations were true, then it’s unacceptable.

“If that’s true, I just hope it’s somebody just venting, but that is definitely something that is unacceptable,” Durr said. “If we get a report of somebody doing that in John Day we’re definitely going to investigate it.”

Durr said that if threats are made to call the police department at 541-575-0030 or dispatch at 541-575-0195.

Stevick said there was also a list of people circulating online falsely accusing them of reporting local businesses for not complying with Gov. Kate Brown’s mask mandate.

Given the heightened political climate surrounding both the election and COVID-19, a list falsely accusing people for reporting businesses that have taken financial hits due to the coronavirus is dangerous, she said.

Stevick said she wrote to both of the people who shared the list on social media and asked them to take it down. After a long back-and-forth, she said, they both took down the post.

She said, after the discussion, one of the people apologized and later sent her a friend request on Facebook.

“I think it really is a good thing to reach out to people directly in those kinds of situations,” she said, “even though it is not always a comfortable thing to do.”


Rudy Diaz is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at rudy@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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