Portland Chief of Police Mark Cory speaks during the GPISD Board of Trustees meeting on 4-18-2017.
On April 8, we covered a story about a Gregory-Portland high school student who was questioned by police after a "manifesto" of sorts was found at the high school.
According to the Portland Police Department, the manifesto was allegedly written by a freshman. Officials said the document detailed threats against the school, others students and faculty.
The student was questioned by police and then taken to a local behavioral health facility.
The Gregory-Portland Independent School District released a statement to the media that read:
"Our high school administration responds very quickly in any case where a student even remotely indicates wanting to cause harm to oneself or others. In addition, local police/authorities are contacted to handle these types of situations so that we can ensure the safety of all students at the campus and remove any need for further concern."
Now, Gregory-Portland Chief of Police Mark Cory is blaming the media for blowing the story "way out of proportion" when the story was published in a newspaper a week after the incident happened, before the Board of Trustees or parents knew anything about the document being found.
The subject came up during last night's Gregory-Portland ISD Board of Trustees meeting.
According to Cory, the student never wrote a manifesto himself, but copied an article on Columbine, and officials now say there was never any real threat.
"The student was just expressing himself in a negative way," Cory said. "Should he have written it? No. Was it disturbing to read? Some people would have (been) because of course the Columbine shooting was disturbing to everyone."
Cory went on to say that the incident was over with and behind them, until the next week when a newspaper article about the incident came out. He says it was that article that brought the incident back to light.
"I think that it was the way it was written is what blew this whole thing greatly out of proportion," Cory said. "No names were mentioned (in the "manifesto"), no faculty was mentioned, there was no weapons found. Nothing that indicated an immediate threat to anyone whatsoever."
Cory then defended the student in question.
"We were able to get the student some help which was our main focus."
Members of the GPISD school board asked the chief why the reporter who wrote the original story on this incident was able to see the "manifesto" himself as he claimed, and why the reporter knew about the incident before the school board or parents knew. Cory responded that he did not release the document to the reporter and is unsure how or if the reporter ever saw the document.
The school district says they are adding new procedures to change the way parents are notified of these types of situations. They also said they are going to be more involved in making sure students who may be going through hard times get more help.