Kodiak Island Borough School District receives bomb threat during winter break

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The Kodiak Island Borough School District received a bomb threat via email late morning on Dec. 18. Classes are currently on winter break, but the remaining staff were sent home.

The district usually has a handful of administrative staff at the superintendent’s office over winter break, but the parking lot was empty, December 18, 2023. (Brian Venua/KMXT)

Cyndy Mika is the school district’s superintendent. She said the district worked with local, state, and federal law enforcement to sweep the schools, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who deemed the threat as fake.

Mika said she still wanted to ensure the safety of her staff. 

“The FBI has also been involved and so they don’t think it’s a credible threat, but as an abundance of caution, I’m always going to act that way,” she said. 

A spokesperson for the FBI’s field office in Anchorage said in an email that they take even hoax threats very seriously. She said they will continue to work to “gather, share, and act upon threat information” as it comes to their attention. She also urges the public to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately. 

Mika is currently in Texas for the holiday season and said she just happened to check her email shortly after the threat was sent. She said they only have a few dozen people working during winter break between administrative and maintenance staff. 

“We immediately evacuated and then went around and put up signs on all the doors, notified the borough and the city because we’re closing our facilities for the rest of the day,” Mika said. 

The Kodiak High School’s parking lot was empty after the district closed all of its facilities for the day, December 18, 2023. (Brian Venua/KMXT)

She said she’s also worked with village public safety officers around the archipelago to ensure the rural schools were empty as well. 

Kodiak wasn’t the only one to receive a threat though – Mika said at least 15 other districts across the state received similar threats on Monday as well. KMXT confirmed some of the other districts affected include the Iditarod Area, Bering Strait, and the Aleutians East Borough School Districts. 

Lt. Francis de la Fuente is a public information officer with the Kodiak Police Department. He said the threat school districts received Monday was similar to ones made across the state in September

“Unfortunately there’s people out there that just like stirring up stuff but we do take these seriously until it’s believed to be not credible,” he said. 

All of the school district’s facilities were closed for the rest of the day, but expect to resume regular maintenance and operations on Tuesday. 

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