Tip on school’s new reporting line prompts lockdown

BY PCC STAFF

FORT MADISON – The new anonymous reporting line that was instituted at the Fort Madison High School and Fort Madison Middle School was used on Wednesday by a student who had overheard a potential threat against other students.

Fort Madison High School Assistant Principal, Pat Lamb, who was instrumental in bringing the new system to the Fort Madison schools issued the following statement via the district’s alert system on Thursday. The statement says a threat risk is low and as a precaution the school will be on lockdown on Friday. Law enforcement in the area was notified of the situation and will be present at all school events on Thursday and Friday.

The new anonymous reporting system known as P3 went live on Nov. 20 for both schools.

The statement issued at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday is listed below in its entirety.

“Yesterday, a tip was submitted through our anonymous tip reporting line by a high school student who overheard what they believed to be a threat against the school. In conjunction with the Superintendent of Schools and the School Resource Officer, an exhaustive investigation was undergone to determine both the individual who may have made these remarks, and the credibility of the threat itself. The list of potential individuals was narrowed very specifically based on the tipster’s description to a few students, who were interviewed at length and determined to be of no threat to students or staff at FMHS. After concluding that investigation and determining that there was a significantly low probability for an individual to be a danger to students and staff, several additional tips were submitted through the anonymous tip line which were of a similar nature to the initial tip. The district users of the anonymous tip line have been in two-way dialog with these tipsters throughout the school day and it is believed by members of the district threat assessment team that the tips all correlate to the original tip, and the investigation which occurred because of that tip. It has been determined that there is no actual credible threat at this time. All local law enforcement agencies have been apprised of the tips, and the district’s threat assessment team is collaborating with those agencies to provide the highest level of safety and security that can be achieved.

Fort Madison High School will be in regular session tomorrow, Friday, December 15th. As a precaution, however, the Fort Madison High School campus will be on a perimeter lockdown for the duration of the school day tomorrow. This security practice means all doors will be locked and will be physically monitored at all times. Students will only be allowed to enter and leave from the front entrance. Any student who will need to leave during the school day for appointments or other reasons, who would otherwise be expected to be in the building at that time, will be required to be signed out by a parent or guardian. As our daily protocol indicates, all persons not identifiable by staff will be immediately reported to the office. We have collaborated with law enforcement and the district’s School Resource Officer will be on-site. As an additional precaution, law enforcement will also be present at all FMHS evening events. Thank you, and have a restful evening.

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