Statement from WCSD #1 on recent lockdown situation

Local News December 12, 2019

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Statement from WCSD #1 on recent lockdown situation

We are publishing the following letter at the request of Weston County School District #1, and Superintendent Brad LaCroix. This letter is in response to a lockdown situation that took place at Newcastle High School on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 11th.

The statement reads as follows:

To our patrons and the Newcastle community,

On the afternoon of Wednesday, December 11, the lockdown protocol was implemented at Newcastle High School in an effort to isolate a student behavior issue, and limit the exposure of student and staff members to the disturbance.

Unfortunately, Weston County School District #1 officials erroneously reported to the community that the lockdown protocols had been implemented as part of a “drill, ” and that announcement created additional confusion and concern for students, parents and community members.

We first want to assure the community that the incident did not involve a direct threat being made against students or staff, and the lockdown was precautionary in nature.

We do, however, truly apologize for the communication error that took place when the lockdown was undertaken, and express our regret over any hardships caused by the failure to properly inform the public of the situation.

We are fortunate to be able to report today that nobody was banned in yesterday’s incident and that student safety was the first priority of district personnel who were involved in diffusing the situation. Unfortunately, communication with the community was poor regarding the level of threat that existed and what steps were being taken to address it. We sincerely apologize for that error and are committed to improving communication with the community when these protocols are implemented in the future.

In our effort to ensure the security of students and staff, we are continually reviewing our safety protocols and the procedures that will be undertaken to address issues like these when they occur at our schools. As such, we welcome the feedback we receive from parents, students and other stakeholders in response to an incident like the one that took place at Newcastle High School yesterday and will continue to use your input to revise and improve the systems that are in place to respond to both student behavior issues and potential threats.

Your input is valuable to us in making these improvements, and we thank those stakeholders who contacted the district to share their concerns about yesterday’s activities. We encourage any parents or community members who have questions, comments or concerns to contact the district office at 307-746-4451 to discuss this incident or offer insights that may help us perform better in the future and further ensure the safety of our students and staff.

Brad LaCroix
Superintendent, Weston County School District #1

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