Waseca superintendent addresses rumors over school lock down - Waseca MN: News

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Waseca superintendent addresses rumors over school lock down

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Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 1:45 pm | Updated: 5:32 pm, Fri Sep 14, 2012.

The rumors flying around town about why Waseca Schools locked down each of the district’s schools Tuesday have no basis in fact, according to Superintendent Brian Dietz.

Among the rumors: One of the teens reported missing had a firearm and was suicidal.

“There was no concrete evidence presented to us that demonstrated we needed to go into a full lock down,” Dietz said Thursday, noting the schools were on a smaller scale lock down.

Due to privacy laws, Dietz can’t share details presented to him and school officials.

“When we heard the information overall, we had moments to decide, and I will always err on the side of caution for our kids,” Dietz said.

The Waseca School District was on precautionary lock down Tuesday afternoon after two 15-year-old boys were reported missing.

Waseca Police Captain Kris Markeson said the boys disappeared on Monday evening. Markeson said that when a juvenile goes missing and their parents do not know where they are, they are considered a runaway according to state statutes.

Markeson said both boys were found safe in a residence in Waseca County.

The lock down was called off around 1 p.m. Tuesday after the missing students were located.

Dietz alerted parents in the district about the situation using an automated telephone system called Code Ed. The system directly calls parents’ cell phones that are on file with the school. Calls were made when the lock down began at approximately 10 a.m. and again when it was called off.

Sacred Heart Catholic School in Waseca uses a similar system and when they were contacted by Waseca School District about the two missing students they activated their automated system, as well.

In his message Dietz announced that there was “absolutely no threat” to any person or building in the district.

“No direct threat was ever presented in any way, shape or form,” Dietz said.

According to Dietz there were no written threats or verbal threats and there was nothing on the Internet, such as posts on social media websites that indicated there was a threat.

A fifth grade field trip to Farmamerica for Farm Safety Day was cancelled, but other than that, classes went on as normal.

Dietz said the only difference was that “their doors were secured.” Normally, all of the schools in the Waseca School District have only one entrance that is open to the public for security reasons. However, due to the precautionary lock down, they decided to secure all of the doors on Tuesday morning.

According to Dietz the district was being “extra cautious.”

Dietz said that during the debriefing, staff members were reviewed their actions in detail.

“We need to be,” Dietz said. “I think our students and staff did a great job, but there is room for improvement.”

Ideally, Dietz said he would like to find different terminology than the word “lock down” to describe the situation on Tuesday. He said the district tried to get information to parents in a precise and timely manner so they understood that this was a precautionary measure.

“The thing we will work on in the future is trying to be as clear as we can be, in situations like this,”Dietz said. “Hopefully, this never happens again, but if it does we want to be able to better articulate what is happening.”

Reach reporter Marianne Carlson at 837-5451, or follow her on Twitter.com @mariannewcn.

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  • beaner posted at 6:11 am on Sat, Sep 15, 2012.

    beaner Posts: 2

    The message didn't even finish on our phone. Had not an idea what was going on except you knew there was something wrong at the high school. Not good to receive a message and not all the info is there. Very scary!

  • mamajay posted at 8:20 am on Fri, Sep 14, 2012.

    mamajay Posts: 1

    My Question some parents knew at around 8 when kids were dropped off or if a child text them. How is it then it took 2 hours later to get a call. I understand it was made early in morning but can parents always expect a delay like this in the future?


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