Update on campus lockdown September 21, 2020

During mid-morning today, we received a call from Chief Hummer alerting us that local, state, and federal agents were investigating a suspicious incident across the railroad tracks from the softball field. Two people were in custody and were being interrogated at that time.
 
School personnel decided at that time to keep all employees and students inside our building to ensure the safety of all. Not long after that information was conveyed to our staff, Chief Hummer called me again and told us to lockdown the campus. He also informed us that local, state, and federal agents would be searching our campus with dogs and drones after the suspects were taken away from where they were being detained across the railroad tracks from our campus and after it was determined by the FBI, Secret Service, Ohio Highway Patrol, and Lake Township Police, and perhaps other agencies that it was safe for our students and staff to move into the stadium while they searched our buildings as a precautionary act. It is important to share with all of you that once any law agency comes onto our campus where a potential crime or incident could occur, that agency is in charge and we react to their directives. Those directives are all given and followed to ensure the safety of ALL who are on our school grounds. 
 
Upon receiving the green light that it was safe to move into our stadium, we proceeded to take all of our students out in a very orderly and efficient manner just as our safety plan dictates. I am very proud of our students and staff for the way this happened. Once the dogs cleared all of our buildings, we were told by Chief Hummer that everyone could proceed back into the buildings and our day could proceed on its normal schedule.
 
We know that going into a lockdown causes anxiety and concern for parents. The overwhelming majority of school personnel are parents as well and we respect your concerns. However, when we are in situations like the one we just encountered we have to be very careful with the information that goes out if there is an ongoing crime investigation and we also need “all hands on deck” to ensure our safety protocols are implemented to 100% efficiency so that we can protect all of your children as well as our employees. We hope that you understand that our first responsibility is safety and sometimes the time involved in that process does not allow us to contact parents as quickly as they would like for us to do.
 
We appreciate your patience and we appreciate the work of our local police department in handling this situation in a most professional, efficient, and safe manner.
 
Superintendent
Jim Witt