After two bomb threats came on Wednesday, the Jackson County School System has implemented strict restrictions, as well as “lock down” status for the middle and high schools. The latest bomb threats came the day after a video featuring Sheriff Janis Mangum and Jackson County School System superintendent April Howard was shown to students.
“Unfortunately, our school disruptions have not ceased as a result of the video message shared by Sheriff Mangum and me,” Howard wrote in a memo to principals Wednesday night. “The safety, security, and integrity of our school district is being jeopardized and will not be tolerated.”
Howard instructed principals to do the following:
•Staff should be on high alert at all times; ANY suspicious activity should be reported and investigated immediately.
•Restrooms should be monitored as students access them; custodians should limit access and may choose to close some restrooms to ensure school's ability to monitor.
•Middle and high schools will be on Level 1 Lock Down for the remainder of the year.
Level 1 Lock Down includes: All exterior and interior doors locked; all students accounted for at all times.
If a student must leave the classroom, they must sign out with destination and time noted, as well as, return time noted. Outdoor activities suspended (including field day events).
•Elementary schools will be on a soft lock down for the remainder of the year.
Soft Lock Down includes: All exterior and interior doors locked; all students accounted for at all times.
If a student must leave the classroom, they should sign out with destination and time noted, as well as, return time noted.
Should a statement be discovered or any threat arise, schools should:
•Fully implement the safety plan. Book bags and all belongings should be left in the classroom; only what students have on their person should leave; account for all students.
•School resource officer immediately notified and school safety plan enacted.
•No students will be dismissed until the entire building and premises are clear of any threat.
•Any lost instructional time will be made up through Saturday school and/or extended school day/year.
“Please share these expectations and procedures with all staff,” Howard instructed the principals. “Our high school students have very important EOCT's upon them and deserve a focused learning environment to ensure optimal performance. Graduation is an exciting milestone in students' and families' lives. We have a responsibility to ensure a positive and productive end to the school year.”
Howard also asked parents to “help us to share the importance of our students' safety.”
“We have to take every threat seriously,” Howard said. “The repercussions of these actions have impacted our learning environment. For the families of the alleged perpetrators, the arrests and prosecution will have lifelong impacts, both criminally and financially.”
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