Superintendent addresses school safety concern

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Marion County Superintendent Taylora Schlosser emailed the following message to The Lebanon Enterprise on Thursday morning, April 26:

“I was contacted at 10:30 Wednesday evening about a potential school safety issue involving a student currently enrolled at the Hugh C. Spalding Academy. Since then, I have been in constant communication with the Lebanon Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department; the Kentucky State Police have also been contacted. Marion County Public Schools and local law enforcement have worked diligently to continue to ensure school safety as that will always be our top priority.
We instructed the student’s parent to keep the student at home today as we look into this situation. Local law enforcement officials were on hand at the Hugh C. Spalding Academy and Marion County High School this morning as a precaution. 
Because of confidentiality regulations, we cannot release information identifying the student.  We will continue to work with local law enforcement to investigate this situation and provide accurate and appropriate information as it is available.
Also, I would like to add, if any member of the Marion County community ever has a safety concern that needs to be brought to our attention, please do not hesitate to contact us.”

The Lebanon Enterprise asked Schlosser for more specific information regarding the school safety issue, which she explained was relayed to her by Marion County Sheriff Jimmy Clements. Clements said the Lebanon Police Department originally received the call, but the caller was not satisifed with the response he/she received. The caller then called Sheriff Clements at home and advised him of the situation.

"The threat, from what I understand, was towards another student," Clements said.

Clements said the threat did involve bringing a weapon to school.

Clements said deputies were on hand at the school this morning to provide additional security.

                          --- Update ---

As of 3:00 p.m. Thursday, April 26, Superintendent Taylora Schlosser gave a new statement to The Enterprise, updating on the investigation of an alleged threat involving a student currently enrolled at the Hugh C. Spalding Academy.

“We had law enforcement meet with the parent and student, and from what we have found from that interview, we did not conclude that the threat was valid,” said Schlosser.

Some concerned parents questioned why they were not notified of the threat last night.

“I also wanted to clarify, we’ve had several parents ask why the parents were not notified last night, we asked law enforcement to visit the home of the parent to ask that the child not attend school,” said Schlosser. “Police officers were at school for precaution, and there was no indication that the student would be on campus.”

Some students also questioned why they were not alerted of the threat prior to attending school today.

“Mr. Elmore, the principal at the high school, made an announcement over the intercom that law enforcement were at the school for precaution,” said Schlosser. “We go by the guidelines of the Kentucky Center for School Safety, and we make it a priority not to cause alarm in students unless there is a reason to.”

Schlosser would like to thank law enforcement for their support and also would like to remind community members to speak up about possible threats should they become aware of them.

“If, and in the event that anyone has any kind of information on a possible threat, please share that with either the school district, Lebanon Police Department, or the Sheriff’s Department,” said Schlosser. “I also want to thank the Lebanon Police Department, the Sheriff’s Department, and the Kentucky State Police for being a partner with us.”