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Juvenile taken into custody for gun violence threat at Corsica-Stickney School

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CORSICA — A 15-year-old juvenile is in custody for “threats of gun violence” toward Corsica-Stickney High School, according to authorities.

The student, who is not being named at this time, is in law enforcement custody, according to Aurora County Sheriff David Fink. He confirmed the juvenile was a student at Corsica-Stickney School.

“We consider all threats like this to be very serious,” Fink said. “I just want parents and everyone to keep in contact with their children and in tune with what they’re talking about.”

Fink said there has been an investigation as to whether the juvenile had access to a gun, but only said the investigation is ongoing.

The Aurora County Sheriff’s Office was notified at about 8 p.m. Sunday by a school official who received information of alleged threats. Messages were seen on social media and school officials forwarded that information to law enforcement.

“Pictures and messages,” Fink said.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is assisting in the case, but the juvenile lives in Aurora County, Fink said.

Fink said Monday’s classes were delayed until 10 a.m.

At the end of the school day, Douglas County Sheriff Jon Coler was still at the school, but said the situation was handled. And Monday’s incident was unprecedented for Coler.

“It’s a first for me,” Coler said.

Corsica-Stickney Superintendent Scott Muckey said school administration held an assembly Monday morning, but he declined to provide information about what the message was to students.

Muckey acknowledged he is relieved all students are safe and added, “there’s not a lot you can say.”

“We just handle it with our process and protect our students,” Muckey said.

The alleged incident in Corsica comes as the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to vote on a bill to provide more funding for security at schools.

The bipartisan STOP School Violence Act of 2018 is expected to be voted on Wednesday. It would authorize $50 million annually to assist with school security, fund “threat assessment teams” to consider reported threats like in Corsica on Monday and create an anonymous reporting system for those reports.

A vote on the bill would be the first legislative action in Congress since the Parkland, Florida, school shooting in February where 17 people were killed.

While South Dakota has one voice in the U.S. House in Rep. Kristi Noem, she does support the bill.

“Rep. Noem believes local schools must have the ability to decide how to best protect their students,” said Brittany Comins, a spokesperson for Rep. Noem. “The STOP School Violence Act, which Rep. Noem supports, makes sure schools have greater financial flexibility to make those important decisions, while also creating more options for schools to engage mental health professionals.”