Lawton Public Schools handle false social media threat
LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Lawton Public Schools, students, staff, and parents were on high alert today, following a Facebook post about a possible threat to student safety.
Lawton Police Department said posts like this are taken very seriously, and so they immediately conducted a thorough investigation once the post was brought to their attention. Thankfully, this long school day is over, and all students and staff are safe.
Lawton Police Department said several officers were dispatched to check all LPS campuses and were able to verify the information given in the social media post was false. Lawton Police Department Public Information Officer Andrew Grubbs said they found no credible threats to the safety of the LPS students during their investigation
“Number one we want to keep our kids safe. 99% of us are parents ourselves. We want to make sure our kids, your kids are kept safe. So, we’re going to take these things very seriously,” said Grubbs.
Lawton Public Schools Superintendent Kevin Himes said that LPS found out about the post around 5 a.m.
He said they followed protocol by contacting LPD and allowing them to complete an investigation.
“First thing they want to do is found out what level of threat it is. We treat every threat as a threat and respect it and properly vent it. So, they quickly vented this one and they found out it came from California that’s where the IP address was. We had had a previous situation with the same IP address last year. So, they were quickly sure of what the situation was and that it was a very low-level threat so that’s why we had school today,” said Hime.
He also said MacArthur Middle School and High school were on “lockout” today and not on ‘Lockdown.”
“A lockout means we locked all the outer doors and were not letting anyone in. A lockdown means, we’ve locked all the outer doors, and nobody can come in and we have locked every student into a classroom or safe area,” he said.
He said that when you look at the history of other schools’ shootings, improperly working or unlocked doors were one of the main issues.
“All of our police offers are supposed to check every outside door in the district to make sure they’re locked and they’re functioning properly. Every door every day,” he said.
He said the students and the staff’s safety is his personal priority.
“Because again, they may not be my 14,000 kids, but when I take this job, they are my 14,000 kids,” he said.
LPD is asking the public going forward, to come to the police if they have a concern and not to social media.
Also, LPS is asking all parents and or family members to make sure they have the correct phone number listed in the LPS system in order to get alerts regarding students.
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