East Lansing High School Principal Shannon Mayfield sent an email to teachers at 10:17 a.m. today notifying them of an internal lockdown “to address a report of [a] weapon.” The lockdown was ended as of 11:40 a.m.
Administration issued an announcement to staff about the lockdown’s end saying, “At this time, our investigation is complete and we have determined that there is no threat or weapon on campus. We have been working with ELPD [East Lansing Police Department] and central office since the shelter in place began to determine if any reports of a weapon on campus were credible and at this time we have no evidence that they are.”
The email went on to say the school would not be dismissing early, although a number of people were on campus to pick up their students.
The lockdown was later confirmed by ELPD Captain Chad Pride who wrote in an email to ELi that, “After further investigation, it is believed there was no gun on the school property.”
Sources from inside the building first confirmed to ELi at 10:15 a.m. that the lockdown was in progress.
This afternoon, Superintendent Dori Leyko issued a statement about what happened:
“At approximately 9:45 a.m., East Lansing High School administrators received a report from three students who had seen a screenshot of a post in a group chat warning the group that there may be a student with a firearm on campus,” Leyko wrote. “Almost simultaneously, administrators were alerted via email and radio communication that an exterior door was propped open. High school administrators immediately put the building in Shelter-in-Place status, which locks all exterior doors, requires that all classroom doors be locked, and restricts movement in the building while allowing teachers to continue instruction. This status allowed administration to identify, locate and interview students who were potentially involved or may have relevant information. Each interview led administrators to new information and additional students to interview as they worked to trace the report to the original source. In addition to the student interviews, administrators viewed video footage and searched identified individuals, their belongings and lockers. No weapon was found, and administrators were able to trace the report back to information that was overheard in the hallway and misinterpreted. The door prop notification was found to be unrelated through the viewing of video footage.
“Students remained in their Excel classes for about 1 hour 55 minutes. Updates were shared with staff and families twice during the Shelter-in-Place with a third update sent to staff and read to students before they were released at 11:40 a.m.”
Leyko’s statement continued:
“We recognize that attention, anxiety and concerns around school safety are at a heightened state right now and encourage students to continue to report any suspicious language or behavior to their administrators or a trusted adult. The processes and systems we have in place were implemented today, and while the investigation took an extended period of time, we are confident that the system worked. Officers from the East Lansing Police Department were onsite throughout the investigation. Thank you to the students who provided important information, our staff for implementing our safety procedures, administrators for their swift response and thorough investigation and our families for their understanding and patience.”
For reporting on last night’s school board meeting, which included many parents, students and teachers upset about ongoing violence and other disciplinary problems at the high school, click here.