Lockout at two schools underscores level of concern for school safety

Lincoln Elementary was one of two schools in Warsaw that took precautions about a suspicious person. The other school was Lakeview Middle School. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.
By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — One can never be too safe, and that’s the approach Warsaw Community Schools is taking in what appears to be a growing era of mass attacks in public places.

On Tuesday, two Warsaw schools, Lincoln Elementary and Lakeview Middle School, took precautionary steps after police received a call about what was deemed a suspicious person nearby.

As a result, parents were notified and the two buildings were placed on a lockout — which is one step short of a lockdown.

Warsaw Police quickly determined there was no credible threat involving a person who had been seen walking in the area.

The incident happened in the morning and was resolved in a matter of minutes.

Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert expressed appreciation for the cooperation the school district has developed with Warsaw Police and other law enforcement agencies.

He said he doesn’t think there are more false alarms happening but thinks theytend to stand out more than what used to be the case.

Student safety remains the top priority. Wednesday’s situation turned out the be good practice, he said.

“Thankfully, in this case, it was somebody who drove by really fastly and they thought they saw something that they didn’t see. When police were able to check it out, they were able to put it out very quickly,” Hoffert said.

“It was wonderful practice,” Hoffert said. “We’re always thankful when there isn’t an emergency.”

Tuesday’s concerns come just days after two mass casualty events in Texas. One was at an outlet mall, the other at a bus stop.

Hoffert said they work to quickly update parents, but social media can exacerbate the situation.

“It is a scary world out there. And with mass communication being the way that it is, we see a lot more of that scariness that is out there,” Hoffert said.