Skip to main content

Boreal Community Media

Student threatened with pocket knife at Cook County School District 166 homecoming football game

Oct 14, 2022 01:34PM ● By Content Editor
Photo: Boreal Community Media files

By Laura Durenberger-Grunow - Boreal Community Media - October 14, 2022


On October 14, 2022, Cook County School District 166 sent out an electronic letter to the parents and guardians of students informing them of an incident that happened at the homecoming football game the prior evening.

According to the school statement: 

“Last night a young student showed up at the football game in possession of a pocket knife. The knife was passed along to a second student that was bothered by the behavior of a third student. The pocket knife was used to threaten the third student. Students witnessing the incident responded extremely well, diffused the situation, and alerted a staff member. The pocket knife was apprehended, parents and law enforcement were quickly informed and the situation was addressed promptly. We are fortunate to have students, staff, and law enforcement personnel that handled this situation quickly with excellent decision-making. Due to their response, nobody was hurt in the incident.”

Boreal Community Media reached out to Cook County School District 166 Superintendent Chris Lindholm to speak about the incident, in addition to safety measures and precautions moving forward. 

Lindholm stated: “In Cook County, we are blessed to be small enough to know our students very well.  We are committed to working tirelessly to support our students and families, and we try very hard to be proactive whenever possible.  We are also grateful for the continuous partnership that we have with local law enforcement, county support staff, and area responders.”

In addition to the statement above, the notice sent to parents/guardians involving the October 13 incident also stressed the importance of being proactive in terms of safety measures. Specifically: “we continue to work both proactively and reactively to maintain a safe, supportive and collaborative school environment.”

When asked about an update on proactive school safety measures that have taken place this year, Lindholm had this to say: 

“The staff at Cook County Schools participated in Incident Command System training and a thorough review of the district's emergency plans on September 2nd.  So far two evacuation drills and two lockdown drills have been completed with students and a full evacuation and relocation drill is planned for later this fall.  In addition, administrators have met proactively with the Cook County Sheriff's Office to coordinate plans and expectations should the district become a victim of "swatting," the fake calls to police about an active shooter that have occurred in multiple MN districts.  While some variables are not controllable, we are continuously working to be prepared for any situation that might arise.”

According to Lindholm, there are no safety concerns regarding the homecoming dance happening this weekend for Cook County High Schoolers. “We expect it to be a great time and will have ample staff on hand, he said”. 


A full copy of the October 14, 2022, Incident Statement can be found below:


10/14/22 

Cook County Families; 

Happy Friday of homecoming week in Cook County! School spirit is definitely alive and well in the halls of the school this week, and we continue to encourage our students to have fun celebrating all that makes this a great community to be a part of. We are reaching out today with a brief update regarding an incident that took place on Thursday evening at the homecoming football game in hopes that our community will rally together to ensure this is a safe and caring place for each and every single child. 

Last night a young student showed up at the football game in possession of a pocket knife. The knife was passed along to a second student that was bothered by the behavior of a third student. The pocket knife was used to threaten the third student. Students witnessing the incident responded extremely well, diffused the situation, and alerted a staff member. The pocket knife was apprehended, parents and law enforcement were quickly informed and the situation was addressed promptly. We are fortunate to have students, staff, and law enforcement personnel that handled this situation quickly with excellent decision making. Due to their response nobody was hurt in the incident. 

This incident sheds light on the need for all of us to be aware of where our children are and to share collective responsibility for supervising them closely. Some districts in MN have had to start keeping outside visitors out of games this fall and enforce having students sit next to their parents when in attendance. We don’t want to make those shifts here in Cook County as we value the wonderful sense of community that a home game, meet, or show can create. Ensuring our students are making good decisions, staying safe, and celebrating community in positive ways requires alertness and continual engagement from loving and caring adults. The staff of Cook County Schools is most certainly committed to this and hopes everyone can join us in ensuring that every single student knows and feels they are safe and cared for. Please communicate with school staff members proactively if you have any concerns about a student or a situation. We continue to work both proactively and reactively to maintain a safe, supportive and collaborative school environment. 

Thank you for continuing to make Cook County a wonderful place to live, work, learn and play. Go Vikings! 

Chris Lindholm 

Superintendent