Ammunition discovered in Poynter's cafeteria
A round of rifle ammunition was found on the cafeteria floor at Poynter Middle School in Hillsboro on Monday, Nov. 26, according to a message sent out to families by the school's principal Jon Pede following the incident.
Three students discovered the bullet and brought it to the front office immediately, Pede stated. The bullet was found just days after rumors of a threat against the school circulated on social media. The district found the rumors to be "without merit," according to the district.
Pede said its unclear whether the rifle round was dropped accidently, possibly out of the backpack or coat of a student who had gone hunting with their family, or a purposeful act "undertaken in response to the social media rumor that continues to circulate," Pede wrote.
After investigating, Hillsboro Police and school administrators said there was no evidence to believe the rifle round was placed in the cafeteria on purpose.
Two days earlier, on Saturday, Nov. 24, the school sent out a separate safety alert, informing families of a screenshot being sent around of a threatening social media post.
Adminstrators were able to identify the student who posted the original message and determined the message was "a joke between friends." Administrators told parents there was "no actual plan to initiate violence at school."
The Nov. 24 letter said the school would have an additional school resource officer on campus Monday as students returned to class from the holiday weekend to help ensure safety.
"We had Hillsboro police on site as stated in our previous communication to you," Monday's letter read.
"There is no such thing as a joke when it comes to threatening or hinting at violence at a school," Pede said. "There can be both legal and school consequences for such behavior."
Pede also mentioned an unrelated incident on Tuesday, Nov. 20, that put the school in a brief lock-out. Hillsboro police have arrested a man on manslaughter charges after a 19-year-old was shot and killed at a house near Hare Field, blocks from the school.
That, combined with the rumor, has made some at Poynter vigilant, Pede said.
"In light of the recent shooting that took place near Hare Field (not connected to Poynter Middle School in any way) and the false social media threat toward Poynter that occurred over the holiday break, I wanted to act out of an abundance of caution and proactively communicate about our efforts to keep students and staff safe at all times," Pede wrote. "Again, things were calm and productive here at Poynter today. Students and staff are safe, and I am confident that we can move forward without further disruptions."
By Olivia Singer
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
Follow Olivia at @oliviasingerr
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