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      Ottumwa High School responds to student safety threats

      The arrests of three Ottumwa High School students have caused some lingering concern over the safety of OHS students.

      OHS Principal Mark Hanson said Wednesday that the school would not be open if they did not consider it safe for students to attend.

      "We're not going to sit here and say that we're perfect at all, obviously, we have issues that every school in the nation has," Hanson said. "But we're going to continue to actively deal with these and pursue leads and follow up on rumors to the best of our ability to ensure that Ottumwa High will continue to be a safe place to go to school."

      On Dec. 26, Emily Kay Six, 16, was arrested for conspiracy to commit terrorism. Fred Marshall Kirfman, 17, and Troi Leighann Milstead, 15, were arrested Jan. 24 on the same charges. The teens were allegedly plotting to bring guns to the high school on Feb. 14 and murder a number of students.

      Hanson said he is pleased with the way the situation was handled, and will continue to err on the side of caution when it comes to threats against students' safety.

      "This will be a continuing investigation and as names come to us, even if it's the remotest rumor, we will follow up on it aggressively and make sure that we deal with those as well as we possibly can and get to the bottom of everything we can," Hanson said.

      When Kirfman and Milstead were arrested, Ottumwa Police Chief Jim Clark said he did not anticipate any more arrests in connection with this event.

      Hanson said if given the chance, the school district and police department would handle the situation in the same way. He encourages students to continue keeping open communication with their teachers to prevent future threats.

      Previous KTVO stories:

      Two more arrested for Conspiracy to Commit Terrorism

      Hearing set for Ottumwa terrorism conspiracy

      Ottumwa High School student arrested for Conspiracy to Commit Terrorism