SPOKANE, Wash — After a series of false threats forced schools in Spokane to evacuate in December, Spokane Public Schools (SPS) has been assessing how they'll handle similar situations in the future.
School leaders have met with law enforcement, students and staff about the serious concerns raised during those moments of uncertainty.
There are plans to continue those conversations in the coming weeks.
"Unfortunately, this is a reality that not just Spokane Public Schools has to live with, but it's a reality across the entire country," SPS superintendent Adam Swinyard said.
First responders received a call on Dec. 9 that reported an active shooter on the Lewis and Clark High School campus. It was later confirmed by the Spokane Police Department (SPD) that there were no signs of a shooting or any threat.
Out of an abundance of caution, two other high schools were also on lockdown on that same day.
"We're going to treat any perceived threat or risk to our schools like it's real. So every time and every day, we're going to operate with an abundance of caution, and we're going to respond to the greatest extent possible," Swinyard explained.
Swinyard said there are lessons from the threat that they've learned and would like to build on. That includes plans for improved coordination and communication.
More drills to prepare students will also be taking place in the district.
"It's a layering of multiple strategies. Both preventative and in terms of response when incidents do occur," Swinyard said.
On top of safety and preparation, SPS said it's vital to trust reliable sources during situations like a fake threat.
Parents and students all receive texts or emails during the event of a lockdown.
The district's social media pages will also post updates.
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