Post updated at 4:51 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6:
A Free State High School student was taken into custody after a report that they had made a comment on Friday about “shooting up the school” on Tuesday.
A parent of another Free State student reported that their child heard the comment on Friday, according to an email from district spokesperson Julie Boyle.
“The school administration worked with a school resource officer to investigate this report,” Boyle wrote. “While interviewing the student alleged to have made the threat, the student refused to comply with school staff and the SRO and left school grounds.”
“With reason to believe the student was armed,” the SRO requested backup while continuing to ask the student to comply, according to a news release from the Lawrence Police Department Tuesday afternoon. The student started heading toward the businesses south of the school, according to LPD.
Lawrence police took the student into custody across the street from the school and did not find a weapon on them, Boyle’s email said.
“The threat was concerning and contained details,” Deputy Chief Adam Heffley alleged in LPD’s release. “The student was then intentionally defiant with school personnel and officers. The Lawrence Police Department and School District work together daily and will always remain committed to fully investigating any threat. We’re glad this ended the way it did.”
School staff contacted the student’s family and will follow up with disciplinary action in accordance with board policy, Boyle said.
Tuesday’s incident was at least the third report of that nature in Lawrence Public Schools since all students went back for the fall semester on Aug. 18, less than three full weeks ago.
The district is holding another community safety forum from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20 at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive. Staff members have already held six forums over the past few months.
During the recent forums, the district has provided an online form to collect people’s perceptions about school safety. That form is available at this link, and it will collect responses through Sept. 30.
“Lawrence Public Schools appreciates students and families continuing to report safety concerns to school staff and the Lawrence Police Department for its support in investigating this reported threat,” Boyle wrote in her email.
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