Darien High School placed under brief lockdown after threat found on bathroom wall
Updated 9:43 am, Wednesday, March 29, 2017
DARIEN — Police and high school administration are still searching for the student who wrote a threat on a bathroom wall, causing the entire high school to go into lockdown on March 24.
According to Lt. Jeremiah Marron, “gonna shoot the school per. 6 B [sic] ready,” was found written on the wall of the first floor boy’s bathroom at the high school around 12:30 p.m.. Students immediately notified the school administration who identified the message and notified police who were on scene due to an unrelated fire alarm.
According to Marron, sixth period was due to begin shortly at 12:40 p.m. As a result, the school was put into a controlled lockdown per protocol for around 20 minutes with police present. Parents were notified of the situation via email around 12:50 p.m.
The lockdown was lifted after police found the threat to be unfounded and the school was declared safe, but officers remained both in and outside the school building until the day ended around 2 p.m.
School officials said this may have been a “copycat” incdeint. Marron said police investigated a similar incident on Wednesday where there was a rumor of a threat made.
The email sent to parents from Darien High School Principal Ellen Dunn:
Today, Friday, March 24, 2017 at approximately 12:30 p.m. a message was found in a stall of a boys bathroom reading “gonna shoot the school per 6. B ready”.
The administration immediately contacted the Darien Police Department. We initiated a lockdown drill to secure the building and allow the police an opportunity to evaluate the situation.
Working with the Police Department the threat was deemed unfounded and we have returned the students to class and will conclude a normal school day.
According to a press release issued by Superintendent Dan Brenner on Friday at 5 p.m., several students said they heard someone wrote in the bathroom “do not come to school on 3/23.”
“Wednesday was something similar, though based on a rumor that someone had seen something in bathroom, another alleged threat proven to be unsubstantiated,’ Marron said.
Police heard several different accounts of what was written or said. Police and school administration looked into the incident and several students were interviewed. Parents were again notified via email.
Police also checked all the bathrooms in the school for written threats.
Marron said though the two incidents were similar, police are unsure if they were necessarily connected.
“It’s hard to tell if they’re connected, but just the nature of incident connects the two,” he said. “But there’s no way we can connect them to same person.”
According to a release sent by Brenner, rumors were also circulating that there was a gun in school. Brenner emphasized this was untrue.
“It has come to our attention that there was a rumor that a gun was present at school today. This is absolutely false,” he said. “Please be assured that these incidents have been found to have no substance and that there was no threat present at any time...We are continuing our investigation in collaboration with the Darien Police Department to identify the person or persons who were responsible for these incidents. I can assure you that once identified, we will discipline the individual(s) to the full extent of education and criminal law. Once again, there is no more important mission for a school district than to keep our school community safe. Please know we will do everything in our power to ensure a safe and secure school environment.”
Marron said police are going to continue to work with school administration and the school resource officer will be following up with the case.
“We don’t think the school was under any threat at any point,” he said. “However, you can’t treat these incidents lightly and all precautions were taken by the school and police department. We don’t expect to receive any additional threats over the weekend but investigation will be ongoing. We think students and staff did an excellent job going into lockdown and communication with the school was very efficient and we were glad we could be on scene and assist. The investigation will continue and the suspect is going to looking at serious consequences.”