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Missoula Big Sky High School

Missoula Big Sky High School


A Big Sky High School student has obtained a temporary order of protection barring another student from coming to the school after that student allegedly told a classroom last week he was going to shoot up the school.

According to a petition filed seeking the order of protection, the respondent who is now under the restrictions of the order — which includes not being allowed to have weapons — told a classroom on Feb. 15, “It will take the whole (expletive) Army to stop me when I shoot up this school.”

The petitioner said the school deemed the student to be a “low risk” and did not bar him from the school. The names of both the petitioner and the respondent were redacted by Missoula County Justice Court staff.

The day after the incident in the classroom, the petitioner said the student requested that the petitioner give him a granola bar. When denied, the respondent allegedly began to slap the other student in the face.

The petitioner said the respondent brags about having brought a gun to the school daily, and they wrote that they will not attend classes while they feel threatened by his behavior.

Under the order of protection, signed by Justice of the Peace Landee Holloway, the respondent must stay at least 1,500 feet from the petitioner, as well as Big Sky High, and cannot contact the other student.

The temporary order is in effect until April 23, with another hearing set on March 7.

Earlier this week, school district spokeswoman Hatton Littman said Big Sky had convened a threat assessment committee after getting a report of the student making a threat in the classroom, and said the student in question was allowed back in class.

Littman told the Missoulian on Thursday that when the district did a threat evaluation last week, it was only aware of the alleged comments the student made in the classroom. Earlier this week, Missoula police alerted the district to the allegations of the subsequent assault, and the district has since reopened a threat evaluation about the incident and the student.

At a press conference called Thursday afternoon, district superintendent Mark Thane said the threat assessment team includes administrators and mental health therapists, and the criteria they use to determine whether threats are “low level” or “high level” include a student’s prior discipline history, access to lethal means, a guardian interview process and the general type of comment or threat.

“All those things are evaluated, without getting into the specifics of protocol,” he said. “There is a thoroughness and comprehensive consistency with evaluation with recommended outcomes.”

On Thursday, Big Sky was under a lock-in because of an unrelated threatening message found at the school. 

Reporter David Erickson contributed to this report. 

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Law and Justice Reporter

Crime reporter for the Missoulian.