UPDATE: Rumors of gun present during Darien high school lockdown incident "absolutely false" — superintendent
UPDATE Friday 4:40 — Schools Superintendent Dan Brenner sent out the following press release to the school community and local media — including addressing rumors of a gun present at the high school Friday as "absolutely false:"
Dear School Community,
It has been an unsettling couple of days at Darien High School as a result of two unfounded threatening messages that were reported to the administration. I understand how upsetting this is to the entire school community.
Our training suggests the best way to manage these situations is to be timely and forthright with information and to immediately dispel any rumors that may be circulating. With that in mind, I would like to reiterate the following facts:
On Wednesday, several students reported they heard there was a written message in a bathroom that said, “do not come to school on 3/23.”
- The police, who were at the high school, investigated and assured us that DHS was safe; and,
- Following our internal protocol, we emailed parents about the incident.
This afternoon, a student reported that the following statement was written on a bathroom wall, “gonna shoot the school per. 6. B ready.”
- DHS administration identified the bathroom with the writing on the wall;
- Following our protocol, the school was locked down;
- Police immediately responded; and,
- The school remained in lockdown for 22 minutes, until we were assured by the police that the school was safe and we could return to a typical school schedule.
It has come to our attention that there was a rumor that a gun was present at school today. This is absolutely false. Please be assured that these incidents have been found to have no substance and that there was no threat present at any time.
Research suggests that our communication home and to the press may prompt “copycat” behaviors. While this appears to be the case today, we will always take each case seriously and act accordingly.
We are continuing our investigation in collaboration with the Darien Police Department to identity the person or persons who were responsible for these incidents. I can assure you that once identified, we will discipline the individual(s) to the full extent of education and criminal law.
Once again, there is no more important mission for a school district than to keep our school community safe. Please know we will do everything in our power to ensure a safe and secure school environment.
1:12 p.m. — A brief lockdown placed on Darien High School has now been lifted after a Darien Police investigation proved a threat written on a bathroom wall unfounded, according to Darien Police Lt. Jeremiah Marron.
Marron said the Darien Police Department responded originally to a fire alarm at Darien High and then a second call came in that a threat had been found written on the bathroom wall.
The note read: "Gonna shoot the school Per. 6. B ready," Marron said.
Police who had arrived before period six put the school in a controlled lockdown with police on scene for 20 minutes. The situation was evaluated and the lockdown has been lifted, with classes back in session, Marron said.
Marron pointed out that students may have been texting additional or other information about the incident, and clarified that "anything other than what I just said is not credible."
On Wednesday, Darien Police responded to reports of a threatening note in a boys' bathroom saying students should not come to school on Thursday, March 23. Police could not find evidence of the note and deemed the incident an unverifiable rumor. Thursday passed without any reported incident
An email from Principal Ellen Dunn sent out to parents at 12:53 read as follows:
Today, Friday, March 24, 2017 at approximately 12:30 p.m. a message was found in a stall of a boys bathroom reading “gonna shoot the school per 6. B ready”. The administration immediately contacted the Darien Police Department. We initiated a lockdown drill to secure the building and allow the police an opportunity to evaluate the situation. Working with the Police Department the threat was deemed unfounded and we have returned the students to class and will conclude a normal school day.