KHS goes on lockdown

KHS goes on lockdown

Jane Manwarring and Antonia Akrap

UPDATE- Jan. 17
KHS plans to improve security measures after the campus lockdown yesterday, Jan.16. They already had plans in place to readjust safety, but there is a possibility plans will now be sped up, Principal Dr. Michael Havener said.

“Dr. Havener has had us evaluate and adjust and have conversations,” Mike Wade, associate principal, said. “I’m meeting with the walking counselors today. Just as the last time we had this issue last month, and last year when we had the other lockdown, we made adjustments based off of that. We had some flaws.”

One of the main flaws of yesterday’s incident was that some doors were not properly supervised. There are 37 doors on campus, according to Havener, and because it’s such an open campus, it’s difficult to watch all the doors.

“We have some doors that are not being manned and that can’t happen anymore,” Havener said.

At the beginning of the year students came back to more locked doors on campus and as the year progressed, adjustments have been made based on student response and convenience.

“There are plans in the future- I can’t tell you tomorrow, I can’t tell you next year, I can’t tell you by the end of this year- to get card readers on at least some of our doors here on campus,” Havener said. “If that happens, we have a little bit more ability to lock doors and unlock doors at certain times. So that is being looked at even more now.”

According to Havener, KHS has been working with a firm for a long time now to create a master facility plan and figure out the safest structure of the school. Havener said KHS is still deciding on its next step concerning legal actions with the KSDK reporter who came to the high school yesterday.

“We’re still in the process of trying to figure out what our rights are and what direction the district wants to pursue,” Havener said.

In the meantime, Havener said KHS is doing everything they can for the safety of the students.

“We have had a couple incidents in the past month where we have learned some positives and some weaknesses. We’re going to address those weaknesses as fast as possible,” Havener said.

According to Dr. Michael Havener, principal, at around 12 p.m., a man approached a secretary in the main office inquiring about contacting the KHS head of security. When the secretary let him know no one was available, he left his name and number to be contacted later by KHS.

“After he wrote down a name and number, he asked if he could use the restroom [in the west hallway]. The office personnel showed him where it was, and they noticed the gentleman did not use the restroom,” Havener said.

The secretary who directed the reporter to the restroom said the man did not go to the bathroom, but instead walked toward the west wing and senior hall. According to Havener, office personnel immediately contacted he and Resource Officer Chad Walton and said the man may be somewhere on campus. Reviewing video footage showed the man had, in fact, been walking around campus. But neither Havener nor anyone else could confirm he had left.

“At that point, we made the decision to go on lockdown because we had an unidentified man who did not go to where he was supposed to go,” Havener said. “We couldn’t take the chance.”

According to Havener, police were notified and came to search the building and make sure everything was secure. Students were not to be let out of classrooms until police confirmed the campus was safe to roam.

The man on campus was allegedly a KSDK reporter working on a story concerning school security. The administration had no knowledge that a reporter was going to be on campus and disrupting class in this manner, according to Havener.

“This was no test,” Havener said. “Mr. Wade is in charge of security and he may announce a fire drill between passing period – that’s a test. This person came on campus with us having no knowledge, and conducting his own ‘test.’”

KSDK released a statement that the investigative reporter sent to the school left campus immediately after being told the security officials could not be reached. They will report more on this matter tonight on NewsChannel 5 at 10 p.m.

The lockdown ended after one hour. The unidentified man was contacted and left campus.

KHS went on lockdown at approximately 12:50 p.m. Thursday, January 16 after Dr. Michael Havener, principal, came on the announcements to say there was a suspicious person on campus but there was not any imminent danger. The school called homes today with a message for parents about the lockdown. Listen to the message attached.