Juvenile arrested for allegedly threatening Bemidji School District, staff member

Bemidji police say a juvenile male is in custody for his alleged role in making threats against a staff member in the Bemidji School District, as well as a school, causing classes to be moved to e-learning on Wednesday.

An update provided by Bemidji Area Schools on Wednesday morning says there is no longer a threat.

According to police, multiple 911 messages indicating a specific threat to a school and a staff member were received by the county’s emergency communications center sometime Tuesday evening. No details were immediately provided about the specifics of the threat, or which school it involved.

Although a review and an investigation were done, police weren’t able to immediately identify a suspect, or determine where the messages were coming from. School district officials say they were notified by police around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday that a credible threat had been made, adding police had recommended all schools be closed on Wednesday.

Bemidji Area Schools then announced classes on Wednesday, Dec. 6 would be held virtually.

Around 11 p.m., police say they were able to identity the phone number that the threats came from, and started to determine who was using the number. The number was traced to a home within the city, and officers arrested a juvenile male for charges of Felony Terroristic Threats.

After learning a person was in custody, district officials determined it would be impossible to switch back to in-person learning due to the number of staff who would need to be notified and the limited amount of time to safely return to in-person learning.

Multiple agencies assisted Bemidji police with their investigation.