Wendell School District Puts Schools on ‘Modified Lockdown’ Following Social Media Threat
WENDELL, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) – As a safety measure, the Wendell School District put its three schools in a "modified lockdown" following a non-credible social media threat.
The Gooding County Sheriff's Office took extra security measures when finding out about the social media threat made on Facebook directed toward a student at Wendell High School.
"We put together an action plan that we would respond to both Wendell High School and junior high school with guards, with deputies and we investigated the text," said Sheriff Shaun Gough.
Gough said they found that the person who made the threat was a relative of the student who lived out of state.
"We interviewed the young lady that received the post.... We had a discussion about it, there was a fight over a boyfriend," he explained.
Although the threat was made to a certain student at the school, Superintendent Greg Lowe said they followed the district crisis response manual and put all three schools on a "modified lockdown."
"We have a procedure if we put one school in a modified lockdown, almost all the time we like to put all three schools in a lockdown," he said.
Lowe said the sheriff's office responded quickly to the threat.
"We had about four or five law enforcements," he said.
Gough said they were at the school early and searched all backpacks as the students went through the doors.
"They were required to put their backpacks in the locker. They weren't able to carry them around," he said.
Fortunately as it as not a credible threat, the sheriff's office and school district took it as a learning experience.
"You still take it seriously. What came out of today was some pretty good training. The system does work. The parents were notified immediately and they made the choice whether or not to send their kids to school," Gough said.
After the school district found out the threat was not real, the schools still stayed in a soft, or "modified" lockdown.
"So we could practice our crisis response procedures. We used it as a practice and it worked really well to see how well we were prepared for these sorts of things," Lowe said.