SEQUIM — Sequim High School and Olympic Peninsula Academy went into a modified lockdown on Thursday after an alleged threat from one Sequim High School student toward a small group of fellow students on Wednesday night.
School officials and Sequim police officers said the lockdown was “out of an abundance of caution.”
Officials lifted the lockdown at 10:30 a.m. Thursday after the 17-year-old boy was placed in custody about 30 minutes prior, according to Detective Sgt. Darrell Nelson of the Sequim Police Department.
“We don’t believe there is any danger to students or staff,” Nelson said.
Sequim High School administration received a report that “a student made a specific and targeted threat towards a small group of students,” according to emails and phone calls sent by Sequim School District officials to families Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
Peninsula Communications’ 9-1-1 call log shows Sequim High School officials notified Sequim Police of “threats” at 7:17 p.m. Wednesday night.
Nelson said officers interviewed students involved Wednesday night, and school officials made the decision to go into a modified lockdown following their recommendation because of the threat, which allegedly involved a gun.
With the case under investigation, Nelson said he would not disclose what the threat was regarding.
He said the teen was booked into the Clallam County Juvenile Detention Facility with a tentative hearing scheduled for today, when he could be charged with felony harassment.
The threat(s) were allegedly made over the phone and social media, Nelson said, and they have what appears to be evidence of a threat to other students.
Officers continue to investigate the involvement of a possible firearm, he said.
The student who allegedly made the threat and those threatened did not attend school on Thursday, Nelson said.
He would not specify how many students were allegedly threatened.
Six officers were scheduled to patrol the school campuses throughout Thursday morning, he said, with Sequim schools Resource Officer Kyle Resser keeping a constant presence at the high school.
“We’re taking student safety into consideration, and having visibility in the area,” Nelson said. “We’re here to keep the peace.”
In a modified lockdown, exterior doors remain locked throughout the school day with instructional activities continuing as usual and students moving between classrooms, according to school district officials.
However, hallway traffic is limited to passing time only as students will remain in class during instructional time, they added.
School district officials said Olympic Peninsula Academy was locked down because it shares students and facilities with the high school. Nelson said it was also because of the school’s proximity to the high school campus.
Students whose families kept them home on Thursday due to the incident would receive excused absences if their school’s attendance offices were notified, school district officials reported.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at email@example.com.
Nash has family employed by and enrolled in Sequim School District.