SANDY, Utah — A former student who was the focus of a school evacuation in Sandy said it was caused by a misunderstanding.
“I’m still in shock that something like that happened,” said Logan Christiansen. “That a school got shut down because of me, I had no bad intent.”
A reported bomb threat Wednesday at Alta High School was called in after Christiansen, who graduated in May, left a backpack on campus.
“He didn’t have any authorization to be there inside the school, that raised the concern,” explained Sgt. Greg Moffitt with the Sandy Police Department. “But then also there was an interaction from my understanding that took place with a member of the faculty that raised some concern with that member.”
Christiansen said he went to the school to have lunch with a teacher and wanted to drop off a backpack to pass on.
“It wasn’t a threat at all to me in my mind,” said Christiansen.
Students were sent home while police investigated.
The backpack Christiansen brought to his teacher was given to him by the senior class president before him and he wanted to pass it along — as is the alleged tradition at the school.
“So during this, I open the bag, I show her, ‘Hey, this is what’s inside, and she was like, ‘No need, you don’t need to show me, you’re good, just set it there on the floor,’ and so, that’s what I did. I closed the bag, set it on the ground next to her desk and then I give her one more hug. Then I leave and carry on with my day,” recalled Christiansen.
Investigators soon learned that there was no threat.
“Sometimes, things are just very instinctual,” said Sgt. Moffitt. “And if it’s a member of faculty and administration that was inside the school that feels that something was not right, and they decide to act upon that, and notify police or any other law enforcement, we’re going to work in consort with them for the best result.”
Christiansen is being cited with trespassing because police said he was not supposed to be at the school and his actions caused fear.
“I went through the back doors because there’s been construction at Alta these last couple years and for a while there wasn’t even an office, there wasn’t even a front door to go through, and so I’ve always just gone through there,” said Christiansen.
He says the whole situation with police, from being questioned on Wednesday to facing trespassing charges, has been traumatic.
“My emotions were high stake, they are still a little. Deep breaths, got to remember to breathe, and I’m just honestly more in awe about the fact that that happened,” he said.
But with deadly school shootings across the country, police say they try to be more careful.
“In a lot of cases, we are airing on that side of caution,” said Sgt. Moffitt. “It’s a lot easier to have these conversations today, than having looked at things going, well it’s probably not that big of a deal and then something incredibly tragic happens.”