No gun found at school after police tipped about threat

Police continue to investigate a gun threat that caused three Brown County schools to go on partial lockdown May 13.

The intermediate, junior high and high schools were all placed on “secured facility” status after a police officer received a tip that a student may have a gun at school.

A gun was never found on school property, said Nashville Police Chief Ben Seastrom.

He called the informant “a credible person,” but would not elaborate further.

In a secured facility status, school and classroom doors are locked and students’ movement within the school is restricted, but otherwise, the school day proceeds as normal.

After receiving the tip at about 1:30 p.m., officers immediately went to the junior high and informed the school staff, Seastrom said. The building was secured as a safety precaution as police investigated.

The student had been checked out of the school by family members before police arrived, and remained with family the rest of the day, Seastrom said.

No specific student or staff member was threatened, he said.

All but 12 eighth-graders were out on a field trip to King’s Island the day of the lockdown, but the entire seventh-grade class was still in the building, Principal Brian Garman said.

The student was not arrested and no charges have been filed at this time, Seastrom said.

Police were at the school the morning of May 16 as an added precaution.

On social media, some parents expressed frustration about not being notified of the situation. Many said they learned of it from their children when they came home from school.

Superintendent David Shaffer said parents were not immediately notified because there was not a direct threat to students.

“If we send out the notification, then we’re going to have a lot of inquiries, and our people who are trying to manage the building are going to be dealing with inquiries and a lot of repeat of information — which I’m not sure that doesn’t compromise the safety of the whole circumstance,” Shaffer said.

“I think we were being cautious and probably cautious to the point of, I think, being very, very prudent. You do that when you get some kind of a tip, notification of this. Lots of times we get tips about things and they don’t amount to be much.”

“I am sorry if some people were unhappy about it, but I think at the same time, there was no threat that apparently transpired and certainly not from the investigation,” Shaffer said.

If a potential threat is linked to a particular student, the student is removed from the school until the report is either confirmed or not confirmed, Garman said.

If a student is determined to have had a firearm at school, that student would be recommended for expulsion.

“Every student is entitled to due process, so an investigation must be completed. Students would be withheld from school until that investigation is completed which, in cases like this, involves the police,” Garman said.


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Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.