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District issues correction about knowing of prior arrest when student registered for classes

Ferndale School District sign outside the administration building on Vista Drive (October 22, 2016). Photo: Whatcom News

FERNDALE, Wash. — A 16-year-old male, arrested by Ferndale Police in late August and again this past Wednesday for making threats, registered for classes at Ferndale High School for the 2019-2020 school year in early September. Ferndale School District officials said after Wednesday’s arrest they had not been made aware of the August arrest when the male registered for classes. Today, they issued a correction to that statement.

District Communications & Community Engagement Director Erin Vincent said in an email to My Ferndale News today, “We had previously indicated that we did not have knowledge of the student’s August arrest at the time the student registered on September 3rd. We now believe this was not correct.”

The district issued a media release today that said,

The District’s follow up to a significant incident always involves a debrief. In the debriefing of the threat incident that was made on September 25th, the District discovered that the information sent on Friday, September 27th included an error. Specifically, the timeline was not correct regarding when the Ferndale Police Department shared information about the student. 

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The District has engaged a third-party investigator to help determine where internal communication processes broke down. Part of what investigators will be asked to provide are recommendations for corrective action. 

Excerpt from Ferndale School District media release on October 1, 2019.

The student was placed on an emergency expulsion from Ferndale High School after being arrested Wednesday according to district officials.

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