The Issaquah School District has clarified Wednesday morning’s lockdowns at local schools as police determined there was no gun in Issaquah High School.
Issaquah High, Gibson Ek High, Issaquah Middle and Clark Elementary schools all were placed on lockdown for about an hour on Dec. 12, after police received reports of a gun at Issaquah High. The report came in when someone reported they heard the sounds of a gun clip sliding on metal and that two students were in the bathroom talking about a gun and making threats.
The schools went into lockdown as a precautionary measure and police arrived, working closely with school officials to secure the area. Police took a 14-year-old boy into custody after initially detaining a small group of students and reported that no gun was found in the school.
“Safety in our schools is everyone’s responsibility,” the city wrote in a press release, hours after the incident. “Report all crimes and suspicious activities to school staff and police. If you receive information about a gun on school campus, get to safety and call 911 immediately.”
Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club agreed to close its business during school hours for Dec. 12, in light of the lockdowns.
“We’d like to thank the gun range for volunteering to close business during school hours today,” wrote Andrea McCormick, spokesperson for Issaquah High. “We’d like to thank the IPD for their fast response and thorough support.”
Some students were still on their way to Issaquah High when the reports came in and they were rushed to the other three schools which were under a modified lockdown.
“Students did a great job today following our procedures,” McCormick wrote. “Students are trained during our safety drills that there is never a prescribed way to handle lockdowns because of all the variables… We ask that students use their best judgment to find the closest place to lock down.”
The school district announced on Twitter that they dispatched additional counselors to help students in need of any support. First period attendance was excused for all students and parents are allowed to freely excuse their children for the rest of the day.
“Counselors are available today and for the remainder of the week to help students with increased stress and anxiety,” McCormick wrote.
Issaquah High staff are currently debriefing and reviewing the incident to better improve future protocols. They’re working with Issaquah School District Safety Personnel, Issaquah Police and the high school staff.
“We will evaluate what went well and what could be improved moving forward,” McCormick added. ”Our first priority is dealing with the threat. As a parent myself, I know we want immediate information about our child’s safety but communication is always going to be second to securing the school.”