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Lockdown at Montgomery schools
UPDATE: 1:25 p.m.
Montgomery Public Schools went into lockdown on Thursday, Jan. 24 after a terroristic threat was found in the middle school.
Superintendent Matt Helgerson said he was alerted by an adult who had discovered a “written threat”. He did not say where the threat was found or what it said because the Montgomery Police and Le Sueur County Sheriff’s Department are still investigating it.
Immediately after he was alerted, Helgerson said he followed the district’s emergency action plan and placed the elementary, middle and high school on a “soft lockdown”. He explained that this type of lockdown keeps the students in their classrooms but allows them to continue their normal activities.
In contrast, a “hard lockdown” is when classroom lights are turned off and students go to the safe areas they have learned from past drills.
“We need to find out who did it and who wrote it,” Helgerson said. “We wanted to make sure the kids weren’t in the hallways while we were researching this.” To alert the public, the superintendent sent out two mass phone messages to parents and guardians. The first message alerted them that the school was indeed in a lockdown. He said he did this because so many kids have cell phones, and he wanted parents and guardians to hear the facts from him first.
In the second phone message, Helgerson informed the public the lockdown had been lifted at 11:15 a.m.
He added that the district is taking precautionary measures including locking of the exterior building doors, and the interior classroom doors, a common practice since the Newtown, Conn. incident.
He also said the Montgomery police and county deputies are staying in the elementary and middle school for the remainder of the day, while the police and sheriff’s department continue to investigate the incident.
He assured everyone that the children were safe.
“At this point, we believe the students are safe and secure and there is no reason to be alarmed,” he said.
The district is, by law, required to hold five lockdown drills a year. The last time one was held was around Christmas, the superintendent said.
In response to the lockdown, Most Holy Redeemer School also locked its front doors during the lockdown time.
The Montgomery Elementary and Middle Schools went into a lockdown at 10:35 a.m. this morning for terroristic threats and lifted at 11:10 a.m. More details will be posted as they become available.