GRC under modified lockdown, bus searched
Clark County Public Schools and school administrators are adding extra security measures at George Rogers Clark High School this week in response to a flurry of social media posts following an incident at the school last week.
According to superintendent Paul Christy, GRC is under a modified lockdown, which is meant to monitor student movement “a little bit more” than usual.
Under the lockdown, students’ bags are searched as they enter the school and students are scanned with a metal detector wand.
“It’s what you’d expect when you go to a UK ballgame or a concert,” Christy said. “This is just a process we have in place with everything that’s been going on.”
The lockdown only affects GRC, Christy said. All other schools in the district are operating as usual.
Christy said while lockdowns do not happen regularly, they have happened before. He said in the four years he has been superintendent the district has seen three other lockdowns take place.
Christy said the extra security measures have been in response to continuing social media posts containing incorrect information. He said the district is working with local law enforcement to try and address the posts, but that there is little the school can do because they are coming from adults, rather than students.
On Thursday, May 4, students were sent home with a letter addressing the posts which allege racial intolerance, fighting and threats of violence, including weapons being brought to school.
A story regarding the letter can be found at http://bit.ly/2pnTnIm.
Christy said the spread of incorrect information has caused a drop in attendance at the school for the last two school days at a critical time, with state KPREP testing beginning tomorrow.
“This is a terrible, terrible thing,” Christy said. “It’s going to cost us a lot in SEEK (state) funding, but most importantly, it’s costing us a lot of instructional time that we could be using to teach students. That’s what is most discouraging.”
In what Christy has said is a separate incident, Winchester Police pulled over a school bus this morning on Lexington Avenue near the intersection with Maple Street and conducted a search of the vehicle as well as the students inside.
Students were lined up along the handrail of the adjacent sidewalk while officers conducted their investigation and the block of Lexington Avenue was shut down for the time of the investigation.
WPD Capt. James Hall said the department received a report a child on the bus texted another person, saying he thought someone on the bus had a gun.
Officers stopped the bus on Lexington Avenue and searched the bus and the students’ bags, Hall said. No weapons were found.
The student who sent the original message told officers he hadn’t seen a gun our heard anyone talking about having a gun on the bus.
Hall said it appears to be a separate incident from last week.
Christy said he was unsure of where the call originated, but it was not initiated by the school district.
“The bus and students were cleared and sent on their way,” Christy said.