Aftermath of threat leaves AHS with increased security

Published 7:33 am Thursday, December 20, 2018

Despite a threat made toward Austin High School that surfaced Monday, district officials were quick to enforce safety measures to protect its students and staff.

After the threat was reported on Monday, more than half the student population at the high school were marked absent as parents kept them home the following day. During the reported incident, Superintendent David Krenz stated that 58 percent of students were listed as absent compared to a normal school day, when there would be between 88 and 93 percent of average attendance, according to a previous story.

Since then, the district was determined to make the school day run as smoothly as possible as staff worked to enact additional security measures on top of the security that was already in place for the high school. Things weren’t necessarily “back to normal,” according to Mark Raymond, APS human resources director and head of the district’s Crisis Team.

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The typical scheduled day for AHS has not resumed, and increased security measures were taken on campus.

“We’re maintaining more of a secure entrance and making sure we have a better understanding of who’s in our building at all moments,” Raymond said. “There’s more supervision of students walking into the building through two secured entrances, and there’s more control of what we normally would have of who would be in the building on a normal day.”

Normally, the high school would have multiple points of entry and students could come and go throughout the day for lunch off-campus. However, students now have to enter through the main entrance at door number one and there’s additional supervision by adults at all doors. For the rest of the district, more adults and are supervising the hallways during transitions are monitoring and ensuring there’s always an adult presence in common areas.

For the next few weeks, officials plan to meet and discuss their current security measures, and what would be considered moving forward.

“We have security at all our facilities and we always have every day,” Raymond explained. “The increase in security is due to a very specific incident, and we’re working through that incident. We’ll be meeting over break on where we are, and what’s necessary to continue to assure security and making sure all our students feel safe. We will take the appropriate measures as we move forward.”