Ferndale High student, who allegedly made shooting threats, expelled from school

The 16-year-old male student who was arrested Wednesday, Sept. 25, after he reportedly made shooting threats has been expelled from Ferndale High School, according to a release from the Ferndale School District.

According to the release Friday, the student’s threats of violence were made to other Ferndale High students, before police arrested him at his home on Wednesday evening.

“As always, we extend thanks to our law enforcement partners for their diligence and support and to our students and staff who communicated concerns,” the district said in the release.

Many parents have questioned why the student, whose name has not been released, was allowed to attend the school after hearing rumors that the student had been previously arrested in August.

“He did not make a threat against Ferndale High School in August,” the district replied in the release. “In fact, he was not a Ferndale High School student in August. Therefore, the Ferndale School District did not have knowledge of his August arrest at the time he registered for school, which was on Sept. 3.”

The student recently moved into the district’s boundaries, the release stated, adding that his previous school district had not provided academic or behavior records prior to Wednesday. The student’s guardian also reportedly had said in court following the August arrest that the student would be pursuing a GED alternative diploma.

The district said it did not have any more information regarding when or if the student would return.

“However, in this case, we know the following: A court order has been issued that includes a safety plan (and) the student will not be allowed back at FHS until a Level II Threat Assessment has cleared him,” the release said.

According to a city of Ferndale press release on Wednesday, school administrators alerted police to the threat at approximately 2:30 p.m. Wednesday after other students reported the threat and staff members heard similar concerning statements from the student.

“We followed our threat assessment protocols exactly,” the school district release said. “Because we followed our process, we were able to understand that there was a longer history that we needed to include in our analysis.”

Police were immediately involved, according to the city release, and school resource officer Steve Gamage, who was on site, began the investigation, and the student was arrested at his home at approximately 6:45 p.m.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.