Board filled in on WAHS lockdown

When a threatening note was found at Warren Area High School last week, the school quickly went into lockdown.

Details about the lockdown process were discussed during Monday evening’s meeting of the school board’s Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Committee .

Board member Paul Mangione asked, “With the lockdown situation, once it gets turned over to law enforcement, do they have final say?”

“They tell us what to do,” replied Superintendent Dr. William Clark.

“Monday was very similar to that,” said Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Gary Weber. “We got the initial call. I was on the road.” He said once he arrived at WAHS, a briefing with Pennsylvania State Police was held.

“They say lock it down, we lock it down,” he said. “At that point, we have very little information to go on.”

He cited the ambiguity about the length of a lockdown as one of he challenging aspects.

“(You) may be in lockdown for 10 minutes, or two hours. You don’t know,” said Weber, noting that officials are “searching for information as you go through that process. (It is) very difficult to predict.”

The lockdown at WAHS late week lasted for over an hour.

According to Warren County School District officials, a threatening note was reported at about 10:45 a.m. and the building was locked down.

“A hand-written note was found in the boys restroom this morning indicating that an act of violence would occur at WAHS today,” according to a district press release.

School officials, working with the state police, identified a student suspect. That student was in state police custody shortly after noon.

“Shortly after noon, the school was taken out of lock-down and students assumed their regular schedule,” according to the press release.