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Area school goes under lockdown

Thursday, March 31, 2011

LINTON -- Linton-Stockton School Corporation buildings operated Wednesday under a security code yellow -- meaning all classroom doors were locked during school hours and no students were allowed in the hallways.

The heightened security in the high school, junior high and elementary school buildings came after the Linton City Police Department received information near the end of the school day Tuesday that "two or three" students were reportedly talking about injuring other junior high students, according to police chief Troy Jerrell.

Jerrell told The Greene County Daily World that the matter is under investigation and precautions would remain in place until the matter is settled.

"At this point, we have no reason to believe that anyone was ever in danger, however, precautionary measures have been taken by the school and the police department," Jerrell said in prepared news release.

"Further information will be released when we are able to sort out factual and hearsay type information about the case."

Jerrell told The Greene County Daily World in a telephone interview Wednesday that the students apparently voiced the threat.

"Basically, we had a couple of students at school and it was a kind of heard-it-through-the-grapevine type of thing that they were talking about or joking about hurting some other junior high students," he said. "We have been following up on it and the school decided to go into Code Yellow as a precautionary measure just in case something was to happen.

"It means basically that once they (students) go into a classroom, the door is locked from the hallway. There is no walking around the hallway in between classes."

Jerrell said his officers are actively working the case.

"We (the police department) went and spoke with the kids yesterday and the parents ... we have it down to mainly two or three kids (males)," he said.

Disciplinary action will be the responsibility of the school, but Jerrell said, "As of now, they (the suspect students) are not allowed to return back to school property until the outcome of the investigation."

Jerrell said he didn't know how long the investigation would take, and added security measures would be in place.

"We want to follow this through and we want to be thorough about it. We want to make sure we don't leave anything unturned or miss anything," he said. "We're taking it serious and I feel like in today's world society, you have to take these things serious. This is something that may last for a couple of days or a week ... I think it was just some junior high kids not using a good trend of thought and making comments and doing things that 20 years ago, you could have probably got by with. But in today's world, you can't."

Jerrell said that one of the suspect juveniles is currently on probation in an unrelated case of delinquency, and this incident would likely see his probation revoked. The student turned himself into Greene County juvenile officials in Bloomfield Wednesday, according to Jerrell.

Jerrell stressed there is no need for parents to panic or worry. School will be in session as usual.

"No one needs to come rushing (to the school) to get their kids," he said.

"At this time, we don't see any cause for alarm or anything like that."

High school principal Nathan Moore agreed, adding the increased security at the school was done solely as a precautionary measure.



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