By The Chronicle
The Centralia School District placed Centralia High School under lockout protocol, told students not to bring backpacks or duffle bags to class and made other schedule adjustments Wednesday after a suspicious note was found on the premises Tuesday.
Law enforcement utilized a metal detector and searches in the morning, but aside from that and a few other precautionary measures, it was essentially “business as usual” at the school Wednesday, the school’s Communications and Public Relations Coordinator Ed Petersen told The Chronicle. Under lockout protocol, which is different than a lockdown, doors to the school are locked and visitors are subject to searches.
At 11:40 a.m. on Tuesday, police received a report of a suspicious note found at the school, which is located in the 800 block of Eshom Road.
A teacher reportedly found the note folded up on a ramp near an outdoor classroom. The note was generally threatening but did not contain any specific threat, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
The district worked with the sheriff’s office to determine its response Wednesday.
An investigation is ongoing.
Below is a letter sent to parents by Principal Josue Lowe Tuesday:
Dear Tiger Families,
This evening I have unfortunate news – today a threatening letter was found at school.
Due to the nature of the threat outlined in the letter, some school procedures have changed for Wednesday November 1, 2017.
1. Students will not be allowed to bring duffle bags or backpacks to school on Wednesday.
2. Late start is CANCELLED for Wednesday and school will begin at our regular time of 7:55am.
3. All arriving students on Wednesday will go through a checkpoint to search personal belongings such as purses and their person with metal detecting wands (this will be a procedure much like going into a stadium for a sporting event or concert).
4. Zero period students and New Market students will be searched as they arrive on campus at 7am. All other arriving students will not be allowed on campus until 7:20am on Wednesday morning.
5. School will proceed as scheduled for periods 1-6 on Wednesday and we will be in a ‘lock out’ status. A ‘lock out’ status means business as usual will be conducted inside the school but all exterior doors will be locked.
6. Access to the school will be limited and everyone entering the building on Wednesday, November 1st will be subject to search.
The steps outlined above are to ensure student and staff safety. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding – it is appreciated. The Centralia School District in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies will do everything within our power to find out who is making the threat and prosecute them accordingly.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. We appreciate your support and encourage you to contact the school if you have questions at any time. For more information, please visit us at www.centralia.k12.wa.us or follow us on Twitter @CentHSPrincipal.