Monday’s lockdown of North High School was prompted by a concerned parent who repeated an item seen on social media about an incident that happened last week on a school bus.
Eau Claire police officers roamed hallways and students were kept in their classrooms during the morning, but an afternoon statement from the school district said there is no credible threat to North High.
“We have no reason to believe there was or is any threat to North High School,” the district’s news release stated. “However, we wanted to operate out of an abundance of caution to ensure the safety of our students and staff.”
A parent called the school district at 6:30 a.m. Monday with information believed to be “possibly threatening” that was posted Friday on social media.
By the time school officials saw the post, students were already in the building and others en route on school buses. When classes began, students were kept in classrooms except during “controlled transitions between periods,” according to the district’s news release.
“Every time we receive any type of threat that involves children in our school system, we take it very seriously,” said Eau Claire police Lt. Derek Thomas.
About a half-dozen police officers responded to the school, ultimately leaving at about 11:25 a.m.
In its statement, the school district said it appreciated patience and understanding of families, students, staff and community members as it dealt with “this serious issue.”
The social media post that led to the lockdown referred to an initial call to police about a student who overheard what he or she thought was a threat during a school bus ride on Thursday, Thomas said. That incident remains under investigation, he said.
People have every right to listen to police calls over radio scanners and be curious about what’s happening in their community, Thomas said. However, he cautioned that those calls go out before officers arrive on the scene to investigate what happened and are short of important details needed to fully understand a situation.
“Understand there’s far more than the couple sentences that go over the scanner when responding to a case,” Thomas said.
Also in its Monday afternoon statement, the school district revealed there was a separate, unrelated incident that happened Friday night in the North High parking lot.
A man confronted several youths who were making noise in the parking lot at about 11:17 p.m. During the confrontation, the adolescents learned the man had a gun on him. Police arrested the man Friday night, Thomas said, and he will be in court on Wednesday for disorderly conduct and having a gun on school property.