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Third successive graffiti threat elicits heightened security measures

By Nolan DeGarlais, News Editor

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UPDATE: June 7, 2018 at 1:39 p.m. This article has been updated with information from an email sent to teachers on June 7 about the graffiti threat from the previous day. Events regarding June 6 have been changed to past tense. Edits made by Co-Editor-in-Chief Annika Prom.

After school on Wednesday, June 6, MTHS families were made aware of an anonymous threat discovered inside of a girl’s bathroom. This threat comes after two previous threats left inside of two boy’s bathrooms reading “6/5/18,” the latter of which had an image of a weapon etched next to it on a bathroom stall. At the time of publication, MTHS and Edmonds School District administration have declined to reveal threat specifics found within the girl’s bathroom, only stating it was a graffiti threat left within the building.

The MTHS administration has decided to take precautions on Thursday, June 7 similar to those taken on Tuesday, June 5 to combat the earlier graffiti threats. Principal Greg Schellenberg sent home an email to MTHS families after school to inform them of the graffiti threat and briefly detail the school’s response to the perceived threats to school safety. However, not all parents received the email.

“Mountlake Terrace Police will have an officer on campus again through the end of the week,” Schellenberg said in the email. “Entry points into the building will continue to be restricted and monitored. Administrators and staff will be present in the hallways throughout the day.”

June 7 operated as a normal school day with an unaltered schedule. If parents wish to keep their children home from school for the day due to the threats, student attendance can be excused with a phone call to 425-431-7781. However, students who are absent will still be responsible to make up missed work from their classes according to the classroom policies set by their teachers.

Teachers were instructed to read aloud an email to their first period students on June 7 regarding procedures and expectations following this graffiti threat.

MTHS planned to operate on a modified fire alarm plan. In the event of a fire alarm today, staff and students would not evacuate immediately. They were instructed to cover in place as officials investigate the cause, then will be notified classroom by classroom about the next step.

Students are authorized to decline to let any individual enter the school, such as by refusing to open the door for someone. All external doors are to remain locked with the exception of the front entrance to the school; the doors by the HUB will be open immediately before and after school. Students may also close any external door they see propped open.

In the email, Schellenberg addressed anxiety and mental health concerns that come with threats to school safety. Schellenberg also encouraged students and families to recognize the anxiety students may be experiencing due to the perceived threats during this past week.

“[The MTHS administration] recognizes that these threats can be stressful,” Schellenberg said. “[The MTHS administration] encourages [families] to listen to and talk with [their] student.  Reactions to stressors like this are unique to each individual, and there is no timeline for how someone may experience them. If a student leans toward anxiety or depression, this can be a difficult time.”

If students and families need extra help dealing with anxiety resulting from the recent threats, Schellenberg encouraged them to contact MTHS guidance counselors, who can be reached with a phone call to 425-431-5663.

Additionally, Schellenberg wanted to take time to recognize the importance of community awareness towards threats like these. He reiterated the necessity of students and community members coming forward when they have information concerning a potential safety concern. Finally, Schellenberg encouraged people to contact the Safe Schools Alert, a tip reporting service, if they wish to report a potential safety concern but don’t wish to speak with a staff member directly. Safe Schools Alert can be contacted by phone and text with the number 425-551-7393, and with email address 1480@alert1.us.

 

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About the Writer
Nolan DeGarlais, News Editor
Nolan DeGarlais is in his sophomore year and it is his second year as a member of the Hawkeye. His current position is News Editor, which primarily involves the writing and editing of news stories for the Hawkeye. This year, Nolan hopes to write several stories for the Hawkeye and cover many different school events...
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The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.
Third successive graffiti threat elicits heightened security measures