According to an email sent to parents on Thursday from principal Rebecca Fillion, however, the decision to go into lockdown was not associated with a direct threat to the school.
“There was an individual outside the TVES community that made threats to people outside of the school that were concerning,” wrote Fillion. “The police, superintendent, and crisis team all feel it is best to keep students inside as a precautionary measure to keep everyone safe. Once the police are able to make contact with this individual we will be able to make new decisions based on that information.”
In a soft lockdown, the front doors remain locked and no outdoor activity is permitted. According to Windham Southwest Supervisory Union Superintendent Chris Pratt, other than not being able to play outside, student activities have not been altered by the soft lockdown. “Twin Valley Elementary is a very secure school; their doors are locked all the time,” said Pratt. “They’re just limited to indoor activities at this point.”
Pratt said because the threat was not directed at the school itself, he isn’t sure all schools would have gone into soft lockdown, but he, the school’s administration, and state and local law enforcement all thought it best to err on the side of caution.
“I wouldn’t have changed anything with regard to how the school reacted,” said Pratt. “We’re always going to do whatever we can anytime to keep kids safe. We can always justify doing too much, but we couldn’t ever justify not acting when we should have.”
Pratt said he understands that parents want as much information about the situation as possible.
“As a parent it’s never going to be enough information, and we want to give the community any information we have and can share within the law. We will continue to keep the community involved.”