ROBERTSDALE, Ala. (WKRG) — Of the 1,508 students who attend Robertsdale High School, 740 students were absent from classes on Wednesday after the school received a false threat Tuesday.
A person made a phone call just after classes started for the day Tuesday threatening to “shoot up” the school, triggering a hard lockdown. An hour later, the lockdown was softened while investigators made sure everyone was safe.
Police said no one was arrested or detained on campus.
On Wednesday, screenshots started circulating on social media that threatened the school. However, those screenshots were found to be from 2022. Robertsdale police posted this on their Facebook page Wednesday:
In light of recent events, there is an abundance of concern and worry for the safety of our children. We at the Robertsdale Police Department understand that. To the parents whose children attend Baldwin County Public Schools, please know that law enforcement and school administrators have a uniform and continuously practiced plan in place that outlines our response to such situations such as what occurred yesterday.
There was a quick and coordinated response by law enforcement after being made aware of the threat. School staff adhered to their training protocols and took precautionary measures to ensure the safety of themselves and the children in their care. We understand seeing an overwhelming police response and enacted lockdown procedures may have caused there to be concern, and/or belief that such a threat was actual instead of perceived, but our mindset in such situations is that we will unreservedly respond to such threats instead of ignoring them or not taking them seriously. The safety of our children is our #1 priority. There are some things that citizens can do which will help Law Enforcement serve and protect you better.
– Parents, in the event of a school lockdown due to a threat, do not come to the school. There will be a heavy police response and our only priority at that time is to identify and neutralize any threats. The suspect/offender may not be known prior to our arrival and if multiple people show up at the school, it will take our attention away from dealing with the actual perpetrator. This jeopardizes your safety, the children’s safety and our safety.
– There will be a reunification staging area for parents. This location is not freely disclosed, nor will it be, until such a time is necessary. Withholding this information ensures the safety and security of the reunification area. A mass notification procedure is already in place for such an event.
– Trust in credible reporting agencies. Our police department coordinates with local news to disseminate information. We also issue statements via our Facebook page. The Baldwin County School System also has similar procedures in place for disseminating information.
There has been some misinformation reported to be a part of this incident, specifically, a photograph of what appears to be a student walking next to a uniformed Robertsdale Police Officer. This is not a current photo, nor does it have anything to do with the events of yesterday. If a person(s) was taken into custody by our agency, it would have been reported to local news media and a statement would have been issued on our Facebook page.
The perpetrator of this threat is suspected to be from out-of-state and we are working closely with federal agencies on apprehending the person responsible. All other reports of threats by social media are being actively investigated and there continues to be a heavy police presence at area schools in response to those reports.
We encourage you to be calm and have trust in local law enforcement. We worry and stress about the safety of your children just as much as you do. We are humans, we are parents, we are husbands and wives. Our children go to the same schools that yours do. All the same concerns that you have, we have. Please take comfort in knowing that we will do everything in our power to plan, prepare and protect our children. That will never change! Yesterday is behind us, and while we are diligently working on the prosecution of the responsible party, we will continue to prioritize the safety of our children no matter what. All the men and women in law enforcement have made a solemn oath to ensure that safety and we will uphold our oath! God Bless you all and continue to be safe and vigilant!Robertsdale Police Department