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Threats, rumors prompt school closure, arrests, additional police presence

Published: Friday, Dec. 21 2012 6:20 p.m. MST

"I have mixed emotions regarding closing the schools and keeping kids home. After last week’s shooting, I want to keep my kids home and safe from harm. But realistically that can’t happen. Kids need to be in school," she said. "I believe in our schools, and that they will do what is right. Whether it be adding more police presence, holding classes or closing the school for the day. Bad things do happen, but we can’t all live in fear. I don’t want my kids to live that way."

• In Salt Lake County, West Jordan police also made a proactive increased police presence at several schools, including Copper Hills High and West Jordan High.

• Two students were arrested Wednesday at Roosevelt Junior High School after one of them threatened to bring a gun to school and "do what they did in Connecticut," according to Roosevelt Police Lt. Ben Lemmon. The other boy allegedly agreed to help his classmate carry out the plan.

"He said, 'I'll do it. We'll kill everybody,'" the lieutenant said.

The boys, ages 12 and 13, were upset because teachers had halted a game of dodge ball that had gotten too heated, Lemmon said. Teachers overheard the boys' conversation and notified police, who booked the pair into the Split Mountain Youth Detention Center in Vernal.

The boys are expected to be referred to juvenile court on one allegation each of making a terroristic threat, which would be a second-degree felony if they were adults.

• In Moab, school officials received information that a student might be bringing a gun to either the Grand County High School or the Grand County Middle School. Law enforcement increased its presence at the schools Friday as a precaution, but no incidents were reported.

"Everything's just a rumor at this point," Grand County Sheriff Steven White said. "We are following up on every bit of the intelligence that we can get on this. We will follow it through to the very end."

• Since the Connecticut shooting a week ago, an 11-year-old West Kearns Elementary student was charged in juvenile court with bringing a gun to school and pointing it at students. He claimed he brought the gun to the school, 4620 W. 4900 South, to protect himself and his friends in the event of a school shooting like the recent tragedy in Connecticut.

• Weber County sheriff's deputies also responded this week to a rumored threat at Bonneville High School of a person bringing a gun to school. That rumor turned out to be false.

Contributing: Jennifer S. Christensen, Geoff Liesik

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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