Officials detain student with knife before classes at PHS

PLEASANTON – Acting on posts on social media, Pleasanton police, a school resource officer and school officials intercepted a 15-year-old Pleasanton High School student who brought what is being described as a dagger to school on Tuesday, Sept. 21.

Linn County Sheriff Kevin Friend used the incident to talk about the importance of the school resource officer program in the county's three school districts.

Officials detained the student before classes at PHS began, searching his backpack and finding the dagger.

According to a news release by Friend, the student gave different excuses for carrying the weapon at first. However, officials confronted him with text messages he had sent to other students threatening to use the dagger to harm other students if necessary.

The student was concerned that others were talking behind his back, and he was carrying the knife for protection, the release said.

Friend went on to say that, under normal circumstances, the sheriff’s office would not release details on this case, however, with the Linn County Commission threatening to withhold funding for the School Resource Officer program in the three school districts in the county he decided to release the information.

“I assure you I am opposed to this measure, as are other law enforcement officials about Linn County,” the release said. “We see the value of the School Resource Program daily, others do not as they are separated from our community and for some reason fail to understand the value of law enforcement in our schools.”

The release went on to say that Friend was saddened that we live in a world where a child would take a dagger to school with intention to use it on another student if necessary.

“I am grateful that we had personnel at the facility on this random day to deal with the situation,” the sheriff said. “I am grateful that we had the technology in our hands to immediately circumvent what could have happened.

“I thank the School Resource Officers, the Pleasanton Police Department and USD 344 Officials for their response to what could have ended differently.”

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