Nikiski North Star Elementary given all clear after ‘suspicious’ phone message

The school was placed in ‘stay put’ mode for about three hours Thursday

Alaska State Troopers logo.

Alaska State Troopers logo.

Nikiski North Star Elementary School was placed in a “Stay Put” mode Monday after a “suspicious” message was left on the school’s phone answering machine, officials with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District said. The district shared via social media that the incident was being investigated by the Alaska State Troopers but that there was “no known immediate threat” to staff or students at Nikiski North Star.

The school, the district said, was put into stay-put mode as a precautionary measure. In all, Nikiski North Start Elementary was in stay-put mode for about three hours, from when troopers were made aware of the call at 9:38 a.m. to when the stay-put order was lifted at 12:30 p.m.

Nearby Nikiski Middle-High School was put in a brief stay-put mode as well. Kenai area school administrators were also notified as part of standard protocol, the district said. KPBSD Communications Director Pegge Erkeneff said Thursday that, as part of the stay-put order, recess at Nikiski North Star Elementary was held indoors and that school lunches were delivered to students in their classrooms. School administrators also visited the school Thursday, Erkeneff said.

“We take everything seriously,” Erkeneff said Thursday of the threat.

No additional details about the message left on the answering machine were provided, though Erkeneff said it was vague and not specifically targeted to anyone at the school. According to a dispatch from the Alaska State Troopers, a preliminary investigation indicated the call originated outside of Alaska and that the threat made was false.

“There was no threat to any of the students or staff at Nikiski North Star Elementary School or any other Kenai Peninsula Schools,” the dispatch says.

The district reported a large trooper presence around the school Thursday while the call was being investigated.

Additional information about the school district’s emergency guidelines for parents and guardians can be found on the KPBSD website at kpbsd.org.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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