By MADELINE CLARK & AMANDA BROOKS
Colchester High School students and faculty entered a lockdown just after 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, after a male student made “a concerning statement,” school officials said.
Colchester, Burlington and Vermont State Police officers searched the school for the student after administrators were unable to trace him. The student in question was located and sent home, police said.
Colchester Police Chief Doug Allen would not elaborate on the nature of the student’s statement but said officers did not find any weapons in the school. Classes resumed as normal around 10:52 a.m.
“It was a concerning enough statement that we wanted to first locate him, and when we couldn’t immediately locate him, we put the school in lockdown,” Allen said, adding, “We located him fairly quickly and determined he was safe.”
CPD does not anticipate filing criminal charges against the student, according to Allen. The school district will continue its own investigation.
According to superintendent Amy Minor, the CHS principal made the decision to lock down the school as a cautionary measure until the student was located and more information became available. The district released a statement to families once they had details and were certain the day would continue as usual.
“I’m really glad that we practice our lockdown procedures with the students,” Minor said. “I’m really proud of the faculty and students … they followed the procedures swiftly. Everyone was immediately out of the hallways.”
Parents took to Facebook community forums to get updates on the status of the lockdown and the safety of their children. Amy Kinville said she found out about the lockdown when her 15 year-old daughter texted her.
“She then replied that they were in a real lockdown, not a drill,” Kinville said. “Immediately my heart went in my throat, I started to shake, and tears filled my eyes.”
Kinville was “very upset” she didn’t receive a direct update from the school during the event but said she understands the school has protocol to follow.
Superintendent Minor said the district didn’t issue a statement until “we were able to deem what happened.”
“Whenever we go into lockdown, as administrators our first action is to take care of our students and do what we need to do to make sure the building is safe,” she said. “Then we get crafting parent communication.”
Minor encouraged school members to follow the “if you see something, say something” motto and report any concerning behavior or incidents to school personnel.
“[The response was] all out of an abundance of caution,” Allen said. “We were very happy with the response of the school; we were very happy with the response of our officers and partners.”