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LPS Responds Effectively to Reported Threat

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LAWTON Okla_ Lawton Public Schools' security and faculty put Eisenhower High School on lockdown Tuesday morning after word of a shooting threat surfaced.

An Eisenhower High student received a text message from her boyfriend Tuesday morning asking if she'd heard about what was supposed to happen at school. When she said no, he relayed the message of a possible shooting. She notified her parents, who contacted the principal. The school was immediately put on lockdown and within the hour all parents received a message letting them know about the threat.

Superintendent Barry Beauchamp was proud of his staff. He said they acted quickly and efficiently. As far as school officials and police know now, the threats have turned out to be rumor, but Beauchamp said these days, nothing is taken lightly.

Once the principal of Eisenhower got word of the threatening message thread, he took immediate action. Staff and security knew exactly what to do in a situation like this.

"We simply went into our secure mode," Beauchamp said. "We locked the building down. There was one entrance coming in, and everybody came in through that. Everybody went through the metal detector, and all bags and items were searched. We also involved LPD at that moment to get them out there, as well."

Despite the stress felt on the side of Eisenhower staff, the students had a relatively normal day.

"The building was very calm," Beauchamp said. "Kids were kids. We heard a few rumblings about what was going on, ‘What's all this?' The kids were very calm."

Some parents, understandably so, did not share that same sense of calm. The school received panicked calls, and some parents came to pick their children up for the day. Fortunately, school officials say parents can now rest easy. It seems the threats were nothing more than a giant game of "Telephone" gone wrong.

"We now know, after a whole morning of investigation and talking to literally dozens of kids, it was strictly a rumor," Beauchamp said. "One person made a comment in a classroom during a discussion after the vandalism in the school. That conversation or comment got extrapolated on out and embellished."

Rumor or not, Beauchamp said he's proud of his staff. They executed safety measures perfectly.

"Knowing that we did everything that we could do," Beauchamp said, "And giving thanks that it was a hoax or a rumor, you obviously feel like we at least understand when these things arrive what we have to do, our community knows we don't blow them off. We take them very seriously, and we're going to stay with it until we get to the bottom of it. It's just that simple."

Beauchamp said the biggest tragedy is the realization that school is no longer a safe haven for children. He said the issue does not lie within the walls of a school, but it's a societal problem.

"Unfortunately, in our society, sensationalizing some of the negatives has become more popular than just having a good quality lifestyle," Beauchamp said.

Mr. Beauchamp told me they have narrowed it down and believe they've found the source of this rumor. Of course, he couldn't discuss the student's repercussions, but he said regardless of the fact that it has been proven to be rumor, they'll continue keep the school tightly secure throughout the remainder of the week.

 

 

 

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