Archived Story

NRHEG school’s second lockdown in 2 days ends, investigation ongoing

Published 12:09pm Wednesday, October 2, 2013

NEW RICHLAND — Students and teachers were locked down once again at the school building in New Richland after a threat was found scrawled on a restroom wall.

The New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva secondary school houses sixth-graders through seniors. All were on lockdown around 11 a.m. The lockdown continued throughout the rest of the day, but students were moved around, escorted by police, and allowed to visit bathrooms at various times during the day. Students were let out as normal and buses ran regularly as well.

“It was a general type of threat against students and the school,” Superintendent Dennis Goodwin said. “We take those threats very seriously.”

No students or staff were injured. Police investigated the matter Wednesday and will continue their investigation. Two dozen students were interviewed Wednesday at the school by police. Goodwin said police responded in about three minutes after the incident was reported.

“The police are investigating it in detail,” Goodwin said.

Police checked the school’s surveillance system, according to a news release. School staff did locker searches, and police searched publicly accessed areas. Police also visually inspected interiors of cars parked near the building. No weapons were found during the search, according to the release.

Goodwin also said the police were to be at the school today, but he doesn’t anticipate any more threats or issues. Goodwin said the threat was not deemed serious enough to think about evacuating students.

The incident follows a lockdown of the school on Tuesday. Goodwin said the matters aren’t related. The Tuesday lockdown was due to a possible threat of a felon outside the school who was allegedly nearby. The lockdown Wednesday was due to the possible internal threat.

“Unfortunately these happened back to back,” Goodwin said. “It’s hard on the kids, hard on the teachers.”

Look to the Tribune for more information as it becomes available.