200 Clintonville students stayed home
By Bert Lehman
A threat of violence found on Snapchat caused a two-hour delay on Jan. 19 at the Clintonville School District.
The threat was directed at Clintonville High School students.
The district issued the delay to allow it time to confirm that school buildings were safe.
According to a Jan. 19 press release from Clintonville Superintendent Troy Kuhn, school administration was notified about the potential threat at 5:15 a.m. that morning.
“Police were given all the information and begun investigating and making contact with the individual(s) that made the threat over social media,” Kuhn said in the press release.
He added that to be cautious, the district issued a two-hour delay to give police time to contact the individual(s) making the threat and to “confirm that the buildings were secure. Others contacted were Lamers Bus Company, Dellwood Childcare, Rec Center, and the administration of St. Martin Lutheran School.
There was an increased police presence at the school during the day to ensure student safety. the press release said.
“Thanks to the quick response and cooperation from the police department, we are confident that at no time any students and staff were in danger,” Kuhn
Parents were given the option to keep their children home that day, and the absence would be excused.
“Safety is our top priority, and any type of threat toward an individual(s) or the school will be taken seriously,” Kuhn said. “We will continue to work with law enforcement and follow policy and procedures regarding this incident. The threat assessment is currently in process.”
The Clintonville Tribune-Gazette sent follow-up questions to Kuhn via email, regarding the threat of violence.
He replied via email, stating the threat was a “general threat toward CHS students.”
The students who made the threat of violence are currently enrolled in the Clintonville School District, Kuhn said.
When asked what type of punishment these students will face, Kuhn said district policies will be followed.
Regarding contacting St. Martin Lutheran School, Kuhn said the two schools share buses, so he needed to determine if there should be a special bus route just for St. Martin students, and a separate bus route for the district. Ultimately it was decided to have a two-hour delay.
More than 200 students were kept home by their parents that day because of the threat, Kuhn said.
Kuhn added that the “investigation resulted that the threat most likely was due to a disagreement between students. It has yet to be determined the final outcome of the ‘level’ of the threat.”
When asked if the situation was handled as well as it could be, Kuhn responded, “(With) so much communication going on, my goal was to keep the correct messages going to the correct people in a timely manner, while giving the police enough time to ensure the schools were secure and safe. In my debriefing, one thing that could have been improved was the simple statement to staff, that ‘If you are in the building, there is no immediate threat, no need to evacuate.’ Some staff were at the building and people were at the Rec Center, but it was initially unclear if an evacuation was needed. I did send follow up messages to them, but remember to include immediate threat/evacuation in any future messages.”