'Threatening note' delays school several hours in Dayton

DAYTON, Wash. -- A "threatening" note pinned to the front door of a local high school delayed classes for several hours Monday, according to the Columbia County Sheriff's Department.

Administrators notified police who searched the entire building for any sign of danger. Officers didn't find anything suspicious. School started at 10:15 a.m.

Authorities told KEPR this is not related to a recent incident where a swastika was burned into a lawn along 3rd Street in Dayton earlier this month.

Law enforcement, first responders, and road barricades.

It looked ominous at Dayton High School Monday morning.

But following the several other troubling events in the last few weeks -- the school district wasn't taking any chances.

"We take these things very seriously and we're just going to handle each one as they come," says Dayton School District Superintendent Doug Johnson.

A threatening note was pinned to the entrance of the high school. A custodian found the note before school started. It prompted the superintendent to call law enforcement.

No one would confirm exactly what the note said, only to describe it as "threatening."

The message was enough to delay school for two hours while crews swept the building. This latest scare has parents like Mary-Jeanne Smith worried.

"We've had a lot of these other issues that came up with the kids dressing up like KKK and the swastika burned and it's been very disturbing," she says.

She kept her daughter out of school -- along with 188 other students. That made up nearly half of the student body in Dayton schools who missed class today.

Mary-Jeanne thinks this note is likely related to the swastika and the offensive costumes.

"The kids know who's doing it. And if you talk to the right kids, eventually someone is gonna talk and tell you who's doing it," she says.

Law enforcement isn't jumping to any conclusions.

"They may be connected, they may not be. But we're determined to find out," says Columbia County Sheriff Rocky Miller.

Logan Bartlett is a high school student. He worries Dayton is getting a bad rep because of these incidents.

"It's kind of ridiculous. It's hard to believe that people would do this and make a bad name for a lot of good people in this town," he says.

Mary-jean would second that statement about good people in Dayton.

She had also let our newsroom know that her childrens' bus driver, Sharri Huey, had driven the route in her personal car to let students know the school was delayed so they wouldn't be standing out in the freezing cold.

It was a kind gesture that Mary-Jean appreciated and spoke to the good hearts of those in Dayton.