On Friday, May 6, Bellevue College (BC) closed down its main and north campuses due to violent threats against the college. This meant all in-person classes were canceled that day, in addition to all events and activities throughout the day and evening. The students living in on-campus housing were told to either go to a safe place off-campus or to shelter in place. The college was able to successfully evacuate the campus and no one was hurt.
BC Public Safety immediately contacted the Bellevue Police Department and FBI, which launched the ongoing investigation. According to the law enforcement liaisons, the BPD found no imminent threat, but they are continuing to research the threats. The Public Information Officer of the Bellevue Police Department, Meegan Black, specifies that “these online crimes are incredibly difficult to track down.”
After Saturday, May 7, the campus was back open with classes, housing, and activities resuming as per usual. The college did encourage students and faculty to add the Public Safety phone number to their phone and if in immediate danger to phone 911. They also urged students to sign up for the Rave Alert system.
Not only did Bellevue College report threats, but Northwest College also received violent threats on Friday. Currently, the BPD and the Kirkland Police Department are working together on the investigation. On Monday, May 9, Everett Community College and Skagit Valley College additionally received threats and went into lockdown.
This event can be emotional and stressful. BC encourages students to contact the Counseling Center and employees to contact the Employee Assistance Program if in need of comfort. The lockdown caused some events to be canceled such as the Arts Jam being put on by the BC Dance Director and teacher Jenna Spinei. She explained how it, “Was really disheartening for the dancers and all the participants who were coming, but we have another performance that we’re working towards so we’re just setting our sights toward that now.” Sadly, this event was permanently canceled, but BC students and faculty are adaptable and continue to work hard even after the threats.