Threat and Lockdown at River Hill High School, Oct. 4, 2022
October 4th, 2022
The following statement was issued by HCPSS Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano on October 4, 2022:
Earlier today, school staff was made aware of a possible threat of violence directed at River Hill High School. The school was immediately placed in lockdown at approximately 1:45 p.m. so police could conduct a swift and thorough investigation and students and staff would remain safe.
Since police were not able to quickly determine that the threat was invalid, they took swift action to ensure students and staff were safe and confirm the threat was a hoax.
Their response was significant. I suspect students, staff, families and even those who may have seen parts of the response on social media were taken back by what they witnessed at River Hill. But I am grateful to know that when we receive a threat to our children and staff as significant as this one, that police will respond at such a high level. The safety of our schools is our top priority and I am grateful to know that Chief Der and the HCPD share that priority.
Since the threat occurred so close to dismissal, it made for challenges to ensure reunification of students with families and the domino effect of delayed busses at other schools. I commend the many staff at River Hill who kept our children safe and comforted during the lockdown and helped them reunify with their families following. Your efforts were tremendous. I also commend the many bus drivers who transported students from the school to the reunification site. The many support staff who helped communicate and respond quickly and effectively were essential and are appreciated. Finally, Chief Der and HCPD were tremendously thorough in their response to ensure the safety of those at the school.
I also am appreciative of the patience and understanding of parents, guardians and family members who were understandably concerned about the welfare of their children. I spoke to many of you at the reunification site and empathize with the concern you must have had throughout the afternoon. I’m sure I share your great relief to now know that students and staff were safe at all times.
During a lockdown, all interior and exterior doors are locked, and no one may enter or leave the building. Students and staff in relocatable classrooms remain in place and follow the same procedures as those inside the main building unless the school incident commander determines another response is warranted. Detailed information about what occurs during lockdowns, and other protective actions taken during emergencies, are available on the HCPSS website.
Please continue to encourage your students to report any information that poses a risk to anyone’s physical or emotional safety. The safety of our students, staff and community is our highest priority and we will always take every precaution possible any time a threat is made. Though schools are closed tomorrow, I encourage any students who require support to connect with a counselor or other student services staff at their school on Thursday.
I am extremely proud of the way our staff and students handled the situation today, and thank you for your continued support.