South Whidbey student arrested for alleged threat

Superintendent Moccia wrote the student was “emergency expelled” until an investigation is completed.

A student at South Whidbey High School was arrested and expelled this week for allegedly making a threat against fellow students on social media, according to the school district and the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

Many details of the incident are still unclear. The investigative report was unavailable as of Thursday night because the student hadn’t made a preliminary appearance in court.

There also appeared to be confusion about the nature of the threat. Detective Ed Wallace confirmed in an email that specific threats were directed toward at least three students.

Superintendent Jo Moccia, however, wrote in an email to the South Whidbey Record that there was “no target.”

Moccia sent two separate emails to district families, staff and students this week to alert them to what had happened. She explained the student wrote the “possible threat” two weeks ago “via social media” to a relative in the Spokane area. The relative notified a counselor and the counselor immediately alerted the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators at the sheriff’s office told the high school principal about the threat and arrested the student.

Moccia wrote that the student was “emergency expelled” and won’t be allowed back on the school property “until a complete investigation is completed” by the sheriff’s office.

Moccia emphasized that safety is the district’s top priority. The district followed its safety plan and locked all outside doors on school buildings during school hours.

“The Island County Sheriff’s Office is on alert and will continue to be around our campuses this week,” Moccia wrote. “We understand the fear and concern our staff, students and families feel in the wake of the recent school tragedy in Michigan.”