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(UPDATE) City Schools of Decatur taking extra safety precautions after unspecified threats

Crime and public safety Decatur Kirkwood Metro ATL

(UPDATE) City Schools of Decatur taking extra safety precautions after unspecified threats

A city schools of Decatur bus. Photo from CSD Facebook page.
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A city schools of Decatur bus. Photo from CSD Facebook page.

City Schools of Decatur published the following update at 2:19 p.m:

Schools continue to operate as normally as possible with additional security precautions in place. After-school activities and dismissal will proceed as usual this afternoon. Law enforcement is investigating the threats, and continue to have a presence at our schools. We will share updates from the Decatur Police on Facebook as they are received.

Your child may use the term ”soft lockdown” when describing today’s events. The safety precautions and procedures used today are part of our threat protocol and many mirror those of a soft lockdown.

When talking with your children about today’s events, you might find this link helpful: https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources/school-safety-and-crisis/talking-to-children-about-violence-tips-for-parents-and-teachers

Superintendent David Dude sent a message to parents noting that police had already anticipated the school system might receive threats similar to those being received around the country. He said the threats were called in to Oakhurst and Glennwood elementary schools.

Good afternoon, This morning I received notification from Decatur Police that there was a possibility one or more of our schools would receive threats again today, similar to those received by several schools in DeKalb County and other schools across the nation. Shortly after notifying staff and families about this possibility, threats were called in to Oakhurst and Glennwood. We implemented our updated threat protocol at all of our schools. Teachers and students continued with their normal activities as much as possible while we implemented appropriate security precautions. I walked the halls of every school today to check in on our staff and students. I spoke with many of them and would like you to know they were happy and engaged. This new reality we are dealing with is quite unfortunate, but we are committed to keeping our staff and students safe and secure while maintaining a healthy, productive environment in which they can work and learn. We will continue to adapt to new safety and security situations. I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable weekend. Sincerely, David

The Decatur Police Department on Friday afternnoon published the following update about the situation:

As many of you already know, we received reports of threats made toward two of our schools today and we are continuing to work with City Schools of Decatur in taking appropriate precautions. These threats are similar to those being reported across the country over the past several weeks. We are monitoring the schools as staff work to operate as normally as possible. We are investigating these threats in conjunction with other local, state and federal agencies.

Here is our original story …

City Schools of Decatur is telling parents that it has received threats similar to those being sent to others around the country and is taking extra safety precautions.

CSD said the school is not officially in lock down mode because parents can still check their children in and out of school.

“We are taking safety precautions appropriate to the circumstances,” a message from the school district says. “If the circumstances change and a lockdown becomes appropriate, we will do so and notify parents.”

Here’s the full message the district sent to parents:

We have received threats similar to those received around the country this week. The safety of our students and staff is our top priority, and we have taken appropriate precautions. There is no need to come get your child. School is continuing to operate as normally as possible with additional precautions in place. We will allow parents to check students in and out for scheduled appointments, but please expect additional scrutiny when accessing the building. We will provide regular updates on the CSD website and official Facebook pages.

This is the second time in recent weeks CSD has received threats.

On Tuesday, Nov. 27,  all Decatur schools were on lock down due to threats against three schools. Oakhurst Elementary and Winnona Park Elementary received a call from someone threatening to open fire on the school. Glennwood Elementary received a call that there was a bomb.

Decatur Police believe those threats are connected to “swatting” pranks in other school districts.

This week Atlanta Police also dealt with a wave of emailed bomb threats made throughout the city. None of those threats were considered to be credible.

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Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

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