HERMISTON - More than 100 names of students, staff and community members were discovered on an apparent "death list" Friday created by three Hermiston High School students.
A high school resource officer, who is a member of the Hermiston Police Department, learned of the list and notified the school district.
The three students were taken out of the school Friday and will remain out of school until a risk analysis is completed by a Umatilla-Morrow Education Service District psychologist, said Superintendent Jerry Wilson.
The law and school policy require such an evaluation to determine if a student or students intended to carry out a threat, Wilson said. It's unknown if and when the three girls will return to school, said Principal Sean Gallagher. "It all depends on the evaluation."
Hermiston Police Lt. Greg Anderson said the three girls had not been charged with anything as of this morning.
Students and staff who were on the list were notified either Friday or during the weekend by phone, Gallagher said. A follow-up letter will be sent to parents, he said. The incident is still be talked about this morning, Gallagher said, but he knew of no students who stayed home because of it.
It's unclear why students would create such a list during a time when school violence has become a heightened concern across the nation, Wilson said.
"It's a concern to us all when these type of situations develop," he said. "This is a broad form of expression here - We need to try to better understand why this happened."
Gallagher said it's important for parents and other adults to listen to students when they express their feelings.
"Kids are still kids," he said. "They have different ways of communicating what their wants, desires and issues are. The way those needs come out vary."
It's important for the school district to determine why the students created a list, and to offer them the help they may need to get back on an educational track, Gallagher said. This also is a good time to teach all students the seriousness of school violence, real or threatened.