Last week across Iowa, numerous schools were closed or the day was interrupted because of some type of threat directed at a school. These threats came in the form of text messages or writings found within the school. Some of the threats were traced by law enforcement back to young people enrolled at that specific school and other threats were traced back to an unknown hacker. In any event, the threats are treated as credible until a law enforcement investigation yields otherwise.

This is a good opportunity to have a discussion with your son or daughter as to the consequences they would face in the event they directed a threat at their school. School suspension, expulsion and/or a criminal record will result from a directed threat. A disruption of the work day for parents and the uncertainty of the credibility of the threat for everyone is stressful and unnerving.

I often compare the type of young people we have in Mitchell County to surrounding counties. Specifically, the types of criminal activity other sheriff's offices are dealing with and the law enforcement contacts other counties have associated with young people. I would have to say we have some of the best young citizens in our county. Thank you parents for raising your kids the right way.

Last week you may have seen my office and the police department on both campuses of the Osage school district. The administration asked we have a presence due to the threats against area schools. Hats off to the administration for their forward thinking on this issue.

The issues we deal with in law enforcement, school administration, and just in our daily lives are more complex than ever. One thing that will remain a constant is that when the issue deals with the safety of our school kids we will always place their needs before anything else. I ask as parents of our area school kids, to be understanding and patient, when situations arise that may require a law enforcement response.

You can be certain that law enforcement will continue to work with the school administration in all our area schools to continue to insure a safe and secure campus for all our students. I ask parents work with us, to notify my office if they have a concern about school safety and not to be afraid to get involved.

Together, we can continue to have some of the best and safest schools in North Iowa.

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