Nikiski teacher's wounds life-threatening

Man accused of inappropriate contact with student, threatened suicide

Updated Saturday

A Nikiski Middle-School high school teacher who is being investigated by Alaska State Troopers on allegations of inappropriate behavior with a student, has been hospitalized with life-threatening wounds after he spoke of killing himself. His threats prompted two schools to go into lockdown Thursday as troopers tried to find him.

The male teacher, whose name has yet to be released, threatened to kill himself after Kenai Peninsula Borough School district administrators contacted the troopers to investigate the allegations against him Thursday. 

 He was later found Friday, in his vehicle, near mile 15 of the Kenai Spur Highway with what trooper spokesperson Megan Peters said were life-threatening injuries. 

It is unclear if the man’s injuries were self-inflicted, wrote trooper spokesperson Beth Ipsen in a Friday email.

He was taken, via ambulance, to a hospital for treatment, according to a school district media release, however his condition is unknown and a person who answered the phone at Central Peninsula Hospital said it was against the organization’s policy to release names. 

Beth Ipsen, spokesperson for the Alaska State Troopers wrote in an email Friday that it is unclear if the man inflicted the injuries upon himself. 

The troopers will not release his name as he is not in custody and the school district will not release his name, citing personnel reasons.  The teacher has been placed on administrative leave, said school district spokesperson Pegge Erkeneff. 

Updated Friday

A Nikiski Middle-High School teacher has been placed on administrative leave by the school district and hospitalized for injuries he had after Alaska State Troopers found him on the Kenai Spur Highway Friday near Kenai.

Troopers had been searching for the man since Thursday when the responded to the high school after the school district reported allegations of inappropriate contact between the teacher and a student.

Troopers also received reports that he was threatening suicide at the time.

Both the high school and Nikiski North Star Middle School went into lockdown Thursday as troopers searched for the man.

The school district will not release the man’s name, citing personell reasons, and the troopers will not release it as they have not yet arrested him.

Beth Ipsen, information officer for the Alaska State Troopers, said the man was currently in the hospital receiving treatment for injuries, but it is unclear if he had attempted to commit suicide.

When the man threatened to commit suicide via sleeping pills and alcohol on Thursday, the high school went into lockdown at about 12:15 p.m. while the elementary school waited until about 12:45 p.m.

At the time, Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said the troopers had not asked the schools to respond to the situation.

“There are no threats to the schools that we know of,” Peters said during a Thursday interview.

District spokesperson Pegge Erkeneff called the lockdowns a precautionary measure. 

Updated at 4:36 p.m. on Thursday

Alaska State Troopers are still searching for a man whose threats of suicide caused school administrators to put two schools in Nikiski on lockdown Thursday afternoon. 

The man had been at Nikiski Middle High School earlier in the day, according to a trooper report, where he reportedly threatened to commit suicide by taking sleeping pills and drinking alcohol. 

The high school went into lockdown at 12:15 p.m. while Nikiski North Star Elementary went into lockdown 30 minutes later, according to an email from Kenai Peninsula Borough School District spokeswoman Pegge Erkeneff. 

Administrators at both schools confirmed the lockdown at about 2 p.m. but would not divulge details of the situation. 

Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said the Troopers had not asked the schools to respond to the situation. 

"There are no threats to the schools that we know of," Peters said.

Erkeneff said the lockdown was a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of the students at both schools. 

Shane Bostic, vice principal of Nikiski Middle-High School recorded an emergency message which was sent to parents at 2:11 p.m. Parents were notified that their students would be released on-time, though after school activities have been cancelled. 

Erkeneff wrote in an email that the delay between when the schools were put on lockdown and when the emergency notification was sent out to parents was due to district administrators wanting to ensure that they were sending out accurate information.

"The primary importance is safety of staff and students in an emergency situation or perceived emergency," Erkeneff wrote. "Today, the alert sent via the mass notification system was issued to parents after we learned specific details and had made an assessment about school release time and after school activities."

While initially on full lockdown, which involves locking all of the doors and getting a head count of each student in the school, both schools were transitioned to "modified release" or "modified lockdown" by 1:20 p.m., according to an email from Erkeneff. 

Erkeneff said the change in status meant that while the schools were following lockdown procedures, students could be released to their parents. 

The Boys and Girls club programs at both schools will continue Thursday afternoon. 

Troopers are still searching for the man whom they believe to be a white, adult male with dark hair driving a red, extended cab 1998 Dodge Dakota with a dented driver's door, according to the trooper report. The vehicle has a license plate with the last three numbers 396 and Troopers ask that anyone with information contact them immediately by calling 9-1-1.

 

 

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