Arrest made in connection to Pratt school threats

PRATT, Kan. (KWCH) Update Wednesday, Nov. 8 - 5 p.m.
Eyewitness News is learning more about the arrest made in connection with the school threats in the town of Pratt.

Pratt County Sheriff's Offuce

According to the Pratt County Sheriff's Office Inmate Roster, Claudia Rodriguez-Oviedo was booked into jail for aggravated criminal threat; cause terror evacuation or disruption and computer unlawful acts; access w/o authorization with damage.

According to the district website, Rodriguez is employed as a school secretary at SW Elementary School in Pratt.

Eyewitness News reached out to the school district and Pratt police for more information on the case. Police say they will release more details regarding the arrest on Thursday.


Update Wednesday, Nov. 8
The Pratt School District superintendent says the Pratt Police Department has made an arrest in connection with school threats made Nov. 6.

Superintendent Suzan Patton says it is an active investigation and she cannot provide other details on the arrest or threats.

Here is the statement posted by the district on its website:

November 8, 2017


The Pratt Police Department informed us this morning that late-night developments led to an arrest in the case of the November 6th threat. At this time, we have no other information to share. This is an active investigation, and we are not at liberty to answer any questions.

I know your children will have questions and concerns. Please assure them that they are safe and secure. School employees are always vigilant in protecting them. In addition, let them know we trust our public officers to protect them and act in their best interests.

I want to thank Detective Jeff Ward and Officer James Sheldon for their assistance on this case. Their patience and expertise were invaluable.

I also want to thank our administrative team. Their insight and assistance in this situation made my job easier. They are exemplary teammates and did a fantastic job throughout the process.

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns, but please remember we cannot comment on pending investigations. The police department will be in charge of any future press releases regarding the case.

Many thanks for your patience and understanding. Our top priority is safety, and we will never waiver from that focus. Our schools are wonderful places for kids to learn and grow. I'm happy to report we can continue to provide a topnotch education for them.

Suzan Patton

Update Tuesday, Nov. 7

A letter to parents from Pratt School District Superintendent Suzan Patton says the Kansas Highway Patrol and canine partners inspected every facility in the district Tuesday, following threats made Monday that caused the district to cancel classes.

The inspections from law enforcement and further inspections by staff members in the district determined the threats made Monday were unfounded, Patton says.

The threats Monday came in the form of emails to administration and support staff with the district. While the source and validity of the threat was investigated, Pratt did not have classes Tuesday. Students will return to class Wednesday.

"We know similar threats were sent to other schools in the Midwest," Patton says.

She says technology companies are cooperating with the district's techology department and the Pratt Police Department in working to locate the origin of the threats.

Patton says any future "copycat" events, as a means to get out of school, "will result in shortened holiday breaks and/or added days to the end of the school year."

"There will be consequences to these actions,' Patton says.

The superintendent encourages parents and students to stay vigilant and to "report anything that raises a red flag."

"We look forwad to welcoming students back to school (Wednesday) and will make every effort to help them feel safe and secure," Patton says.


Original story from Monday, Nov. 6

The Pratt School District Monday afternoon says several administrators and support staff received a threatening email. As the investigation into where the threat originated goes on, the district has canceled classes for Tuesday.

In a letter to parents, USD 382 Super Suzan Patton says the district immediately called the Pratt Police Department, enacted its emergency response plan and made contact with the email service provider to determine where the threat came from.

"With the information we had, administration determined that we need more time to determine the origins and nature of the threat," Patton says. To provide the necessary time to properly investigate, we are canceling tonight’s Scholars Bowl and canceling classes tomorrow (Tuesday) to allow for a full and proper inspection of each of our buildings."