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Esko schools victim of another fake 911 call

For the second time in less than a year, Esko schools were again the victim of a “swatting” incident, essentially a fake 911 call made to bring about the dispatch of a large number of law enforcement officials to a particular address.

According to a news release from the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office, a 911 call came in at 10:39 a.m. Thursday, March 2, indicating there were injuries due to violence at Esko High School. Sheriff’s office staff made contact with the school and both entities “initiated the necessary safety and response protocols.”

Law enforcement arrived within a minute of the call being dispatched and assisted school staff securing the campus. Once secured, a thorough search was conducted and officials determined the threat was false and the campus was safe. Esko superintendent Aaron Fischer said the swattingncall caused "minimal disruption" and school remained in session.

The previous Esko swatting incident was March 17, 2022, and alleged there was a bomb in a backpack. Afterward, the FBI confirmed afterward that the call to Esko — and numerous other schools in Wisconsin, Louisiana and California on the same day — came from overseas. Cloquet schools got a similar call citing the same details a month later.

Earlier this week, The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office 911 dispatch received similar calls reporting threats to schools in Duluth, Ely and Eveleth. According to an SLC news release, dispatch received several calls during the noon hour in reference to school shootings. Those calls also went to several media outlets, as well as some police departments directly. Though some of the calls have a 218 area code, they appear to have originated outside of the area.

The Carlton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the Esko incident. Anyone with information is encouraged to call 911.