Graffiti Threat Locked Down Building

On Friday March 4, a school shooting threat had been made. Spray painted on the wall,        

“School Shooting 9 A.M.” was seen from administrators and students.

  Principal John Koch saw the graffiti at 7:02 A.M. and took action right away.

  “I went out to inspect,”Koch said. “People told me that there was graffiti, so I told the custodian to get it off the wall, and by the time the custodian was getting the graffiti off, phone calls started to come in.”

  Talking to concerned parents about their child being in school with the threat was not the easiest thing to do.

  “When they have a concern, they are upset and direct,” Koch said. “We try to handle it quickly, and safely as fast as possible.”

  Students and families were not happy with the decision that was made to continue to have school.

  “We didn’t have an opportunity to close school that day, it was already too late,” Koch said. “Kids were on buses, they were already getting drop off by parents. To cancel school is a chaos, and that’s a bigger decision than just me.”

   Not only students, but staff including Koch did not think that the lockout would have taken more than three hours.

  “No, I did not,” Koch said. “But there is now certain things we learned on how to handle these types of situations.”

   School Resource Officer, Dave Hickey was alerted by Security Officer Mike Melton while coming to work.

    When Hickey got the call from Melton, he contacted other police to come and help out on what was going on.

   “When I got the information from him, I notified some of my counterparts like the Barlow School Resource Officer,” Hickey said. “He met me really quickly, which was good.”

    With the shooting threat being on social media, and on the news, there were some parts that the community misunderstood about how it all began.

   “There was a comment in the news media from a reporter saying that the threat wouldn’t be in here, or the police would have all this cordoned off,” Hickey said. “Well, we don’t have to cordon it off because we have the safety of the building walls. The public doesn’t understand what we are trying to accomplish in these types of situations.”

  Threats to shoot the school has been increasing drastically, not just in building but for many other schools as well.

  A shooting threat also took place at Newberg High School, which was on the same day as our threat.

   Two students were in custody, while one of them faced charges because of having a weapon, and planning the shooting out.

   “I mean it’s becoming so common, more than it should,” Hickey said. “But it is becoming more common for copycat type incidents, where there is no intent for shooting.”

   Sophomore, Nichole Harris didn’t expect this early on a Friday morning.

   “I walked into to the school, and a teacher told me and my friends that we should get to first period class,” Harris said. “Then I knew something was going on.”

   Harris texted her sister telling her about the threat, and wanting her to pick her up. But, as time passed by, administrators and police did not let anyone get in or out of the school.

   “I was not able to leave,” Harris said. “I had to sit in the counseling office, and I was able to leave after the lockout was lifted with my sister.”

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