Holiday Issue: 2016
Emergency button triggers KHS campus evacuation
The Kings High School and Junior High campuses were back to normal on Friday after a large-scale emergency response on Thursday afternoon, prompted by the inadvertent pressing of an in-office emergency button at the Junior High.
The incident has been deemed accidental and no charges will be filed.
Read district news release inside
Administrators held special early-morning meetings with their staffs to explain just what happened Thursday afternoon, then classes carried on as normal.
Under state law, main offices in all schools have an emergency button that sets off a silent alarm. When that button in the junior high office was pressed at about 3:45 p.m. Thursday, it triggered a lockdown and a large-scale, emergency response from police and fire services. Columbia Road was barricaded, and a local news helicopter filmed students running from the junior high to buses, to be transported to Rivers Crossing Community Church and reunited with their parents. All told, more than 100 students who were on campus after school had to be evacuated.
In the end, it was all a false alarm — but in moments following the alarm no one knew this for sure. The entire high school and junior high were evacuated as the front parking lot filled with police cruisers. Police later swept both schools, and all activities taking place on the campus were canceled for the night.
On Friday morning, Kings Superintendent Tim Ackermann praised the efforts of the staff and said the protocols that were followed worked.
“At the church we had numerous teachers, coaches, and administrators helping deliver students to their parents,” he said in a memo to district staff. “Here is where I would like to say a giant ‘THANK YOU!’ I am so proud of our staff for how you handled this situation. Your professionalism and willingness to help keep everyone calm and safe. I have always known we have a great staff and it showed last night.
“We will continue to look at our protocols and procedures to see how we can do this better, but hope we never have to do it again.”
News Release from Kings School District
On Thursday, December 8, 2017 just before 4:00 p.m., an emergency alert button was inadvertently pushed at Kings Junior High School. This button alerted local law enforcement to our junior high and high school campus. Warren County Deputies, along with Deerfield Township Fire Department and other local law enforcement responded to the scene.
District administrators, along with law enforcement secured the campus and all students on campus were sheltered in place. They were then bused to River’s Crossing Community Church for reunification with their parents. Officers secured the campus and after a thorough investigation, they cleared the scene.
The person in question was interviewed by law enforcement and it was concluded that it was merely an accident and no charges will be filed. Kings Superintendent, Tim Ackermann said, “Even though this was an accident, we will review our protocols and procedures to help ensure that something like this doesn’t happen in the future.”
We appreciate the quick response and cooperation of the our first responders. We would also like to thank our students, parents, and staff for their patience and assistance during this incident.
As a district, we are very thankful that this was only a false alarm. The safety and security of our students and staff are our highest priority. In moving forward, we will continue to work with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office to review our policies and protocols in regards to the district’s safety and security plans.
By Evan Warner