Lockwood school releases statement due to security concerns for Lockwood 8th grade graduation

Lockwood Schools continue to work in conjunction with the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office to ensure your child’s safety. Our students and their safety is our top priority and we will continue to take additional safety measures. We will continue to have a substantial presence of law enforcement on campus and remain in a soft lockdown as a precautionary measure tomorrow. We have also decided to make some changes to tomorrow’s schedule to best utilize what resources we have available and to allow the 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony to proceed with some small changes.

We will have school tomorrow but will release students at 11:30 AM rather than 1:15 PM. This will allow students in grades K through 7 to have the opportunity to wrap up their school year and have one last chance to spend time with their teachers and classmates. Lunch will be served to all grades prior to release and buses will run at this new dismissal time. The 8th Grade Promotion start has been moved back from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. This allows us to have all students leave campus before visitors begin to show up for the Promotion Ceremony.

We ask that the 8th Grade students come to the Middle School at 12:15 to get fit for their gowns and prepare for the Ceremony; this is also when we will open doors to allow spectators in to the ceremony. All visitors will be asked to enter Sturtevant Gymnasium by the main doors near the bus loading area. We will have security measures in place as you enter; no bags or purses will be allowed and attendees will be searched by law enforcement. Mr. Klasna has a more detailed letter that will go out to 8th Grade parents. We certainly apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may cause but we want to defer to the safest route possible while still allowing students and their families to have the traditional ceremony.

The reason for these time changes is to allow us to focus all of our attention on the Promotion Ceremony while it is going on. We ask that no visitors arrive on campus for Promotion prior to noon, allowing buses and our younger walking students to leave school before a crowd shows up.

If you still need to pick up any of your child’s belongings from school please plan to do so next week. Principals and Secretaries will be in the buildings the majority of the week; you can also call and schedule a specific time if needed.

We thank you for your patience and your trust in us as we deal with this issue; obviously this is a complex situation with many variables. We are trying to do the best we can to balance protecting the safety of your children while still allowing them to enjoy their last days of school and take part in some of the traditions that make Lockwood special.

Please be mindful there are legal and strategic limits to what we can or will put out to the public in terms of information. There is a lot of misinformation out on this topic. I can assure you there has never been a “hit list”, there was not a direct threat made on our Middle School, and the report of “a student trying to get out of class” by a local news station was poor reporting on their end, that is not the case. We cannot as of yet trace this rumor directly to a specific student, but even if we could and an arrest were to be made, said child would still be a minor and have the right to privacy in our society. Neither the school nor authorities can release a name or identifying characteristics.

Thank you once again for entrusting your children to us. Have a great and safe summer!

Tobin Novasio

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