Area schools in lockdown Monday morning

BRATTLEBORO -- Area schools are in lockdown, Monday morning, as the district deals with an alleged threat. Local police, when contacted by the Reformer Sunday night, said the robocalls going out to Windham County parents was a decision made by the schools, and would not provide further information.

Here is a transcript from one of the robocalls:

Good evening, this is Steve Perrin, principal of Brattleboro Union High School.

And I apologize for the late call on a Sunday evening. I have to pass on an important message from Superintendent Ron Stahley.

It has been brought to the school district's attention, by local law enforcement officials, that an individual may have made threatening statements that will cause us to take precautionary measures over the next few days.

Brattleboro Police and Vermont State Police will be conducting extra inclusive patrols at all of our schools beginning Monday.

As you know, at BUHS, we already secure our building by locking at exterior doors, including our front entrances. That practice will continue.

Again, please remember, these measures are precautionary, while school officials and our local and state police work together to ensure all of our students remain safe.

Again, I'm sorry for the late call, and have a great evening.

UPDATE (7 a.m.): According to WTSA, Superintendent Ron Stahley said "there was not a direct threat made against any school. The extra security is a response to statements made by an individual Friday."

UPDATE (9 a.m.): Superintendent Stahley is visiting various school locations this morning to talk to officials.

UPDATE (9:20 a.m.): When contacted by the Reformer Monday morning, Selectboard Chairman Dick DeGray said, "I'm aware of the situation but am unable to comment on it at this point." DeGray was in attendance at a Brattleboro Town School Board meeting last Wednesday, and said a bulk of the conversation was connected to school safety and the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman last December entered the school and shot and killed students and teachers before turning the gun on himself.

UPDATE (9:25 a.m.): The Town released the following information: On Sunday evening Superintendent Ron Stahley sent a phone message to parents and staff of WSESU alerting them that the school doors would be locked due to safety concerns. Following is additional information regarding the concerns.

On Friday January 25 in the afternoon Town Officials were notified that a person, who had previously made nonspecific threats regarding school age people, might be returning to the area. Taking the threats seriously representatives from Police, Fire and Town Administration met to develop a response plan. Town Officials contacted representatives from the WSESU to alert them to our concerns and have asked them to be extra vigilant during their daily activities, and to notify school personnel of increased patrols by law enforcement.

Since the recent tragedy at Newtown we are extremely sensitive to possible threats to our children and will respond in a proactive manner. While we live in a time that requires us to be watchful, the individual in question has violated no laws and our response must therefore be balanced.

There is no additional information to be released at this time. We ask everyone to be vigilant and to report any suspicious behavior to law enforcement.

We will provide further information as it becomes available. You can also share your thoughts with other parents on our Facebook page: here.


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