San Ramon's Iron Horse Middle School was placed on lockdown for more than three hours on Thursday in what school district officials called “an extreme abundance of caution” after graffiti threatening a shooting was found on campus earlier in the day.
The lockdown was initiated at approximately 10 a.m. after graffiti was found on a bathroom wall Thursday morning that read “school shooting at 12 p.m.,” according to San Ramon Valley Unified School District officials.
While police officers did not believe that the campus was is in imminent danger, approximately 15 district officials and police personnel remained on campus to play it safe while the investigation was underway.
"We want to reassure you that everyone is safe,” principal Demetrius Ball said in an email to parents and community members shortly after the lockdown was announced. “We are working to ensure that students have water and food. The police are remaining on campus to ensure that students and staff feel safe and protected.”
According to district officials, police have determined that there is no identified credible threat but will still remain on campus for the rest of the day.
The lockdown was lifted just after 1 p.m. Thursday.
“We want to congratulate the staff and students on their patience and thank them for their cooperation during the lockdown,” district officials said in a statement. “Additionally, we want to thank the San Ramon Police Department for their work to keep our campuses safe and protected. We also need to acknowledge the numerous district personnel who were on site to help. Thank you to our families for their commitment to supporting us in following protocols to keep the campus safe.”
Further adding that the district will analyze the policies and procedures enacted during the lockdown in order to see if any improvements can be made to the district’s response.
“Though these actions are extreme, we prefer to err on the side of caution to make sure that the campus is safe,” Ball said during the lockdown. “We understand that this kind of news is very unsettling. Please be assured that there is nothing more important to me or this district than the safety of our students and our staff.”
For students who feel anxious about being kept on lockdown, SRVUSD staff say The National Association of School Psychologists has some good talking points for parents and guardians to communicate more effectively with their child.
As San Ramon police officers continue to investigate the threat, SRVUSD officials remind students and residents who see something, to say something. Each SRVUSD school has its own anonymous tip line link posted to their website that anyone can use to send information on this threat or other concerning issues. Residents can also call the San Ramon Police Department at 973-2779.
Residents are also encouraged to email any questions to [email protected]