West Seattle schools: Chief Sealth ‘closes’ campus for the week

December 17, 2012 at 2:27 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 19 Comments

If you have a child at Chief Sealth International High School, you might hear of an extra security measure principal Chris Kinsey decided to take this week = closing the campus (which mostly means no students leaving to have lunch or take breaks off-campus). We heard about an announcement made this morning, and asked Seattle Public Schools‘ communications team if it was a districtwide decision or just Sealth. SPS spokesperson Teresa Wippel replied that “in light of last Friday’s [Connecticut] tragedy, [Sealth's principal] has decided to close the campus as a precautionary measure designed to keep everyone safe and accounted for this week. It will only last until this Friday and Chief Sealth will return to the school’s regular routines when school resumes in January. Students are strongly discouraged from leaving campus during school hours, including lunches, and the cafeteria staff is ready to serve all students this week.”

19 Comments

  1. Way to keep my child safe at her school. Thanks mr. Kinsey!

    Comment by christie — 2:37 pm December 17, 2012 #

  2. Wow! Is there more to this story than meets the eye? Why for a week only and why only Sealth?

    Comment by Mom — 2:50 pm December 17, 2012 #

  3. What?? Is there some reason? All the other SPS schools are open. This doesn’t make much sense.

    Comment by Mary — 2:53 pm December 17, 2012 #

  4. I should be clearer – sorry. Closing the campus means students can’t leave for lunch. Will add to the story – TR

    Comment by WSB — 3:02 pm December 17, 2012 #

  5. I think this is kinda stupid. I see where he’s going with this but the gunsman is now dead and I don’t see how it could happen again. If its only for a week it won’t change anything.

    Comment by Ally — 3:11 pm December 17, 2012 #

  6. I personally think it should be this way all the time. I do not have children in the school system, but from time to time I have to make deliveries to the schools and I have to say its simple to get access to most schools. I have never been questioned when I am walking around looking for someone or the office. Also, I find it highly disruptive when the students are racing around Westwood Village.

    Comment by coffee — 3:22 pm December 17, 2012 #

  7. My high school was a closed campus always. I tend to think its a good idea.

    Comment by Westseattleperson — 3:29 pm December 17, 2012 #

  8. Ally: I’m sure those parents in Newton couldn’t see how it would ever happen there in the first place either. Give the man a little credit for being on the pulse of the atmosphere/environment under his charge.

    With things like this seeming to happen more and more frequently, maybe it’s giving other individuals just on the brink of mental stability ideas, God forbid.

    Comment by jissy — 3:35 pm December 17, 2012 #

  9. Good for you! Keep the kids safe! We love them all and want them to be safe.

    I know, it’s hard to be kept on campus, but it will give all of you and us time to reflect with what is good in life.

    Comment by RMP — 4:19 pm December 17, 2012 #

  10. Close them until these teenagers can act right

    Comment by Setitstraight — 4:41 pm December 17, 2012 #

  11. Safer…traffic accidents from rushing back to campus to make next class, or inexperienced drivers who, not meaning to, take an extra passenger or two, get distracted rushing… Better safe than sorry …good call on my humble opinion.

    Comment by Rves — 4:53 pm December 17, 2012 #

  12. My high school had a closed campus. In good ol’ Kirkland. The students did not like it, of course, because how could we smoke our all-important cigarettes? We were so envious of the Seattle schools. LOL.

    Comment by Flickertail — 4:55 pm December 17, 2012 #

  13. “…and I don’t see how it could happen again.”
    .
    Yesterday: “Police have arrested a 19-year-old Skagit County man who threatened on Facebook to “shoot up every school within a 100-mile radius” if his gun rights were taken away after the Connecticut school massacre.”
    .
    December 15: Indiana man arrested Saturday on seven felony charges, initially threatened to set his wife on fire, then said he would kill her “at the school” where she worked and “would kill as many people as he could before police could stop him…”
    .
    December 13: (Oklahoma) “An 18-year-old Bartlesville High School student was arrested early Friday after police uncovered an alleged school-shooting massacre plot. The student attempted to recruit students in the school cafeteria on Wednesday to help him carry out a massive school shooting and bombing plot, police allege in a court affidavit.

    Prosecutors charged Chavez later Friday with planning, attempting or conspiring to perform an act of violence. District Judge Curtis DeLapp set Chavez’s bail at $1 million. The charge says Chavez intended to cause serious bodily harm or death to other students.”
    .

    Comment by mookie — 5:02 pm December 17, 2012 #

  14. As a high school teacher, I wish ours was. The smell of fast food is so delicious at 12pm in your garbage can.

    Comment by Jackson — 5:18 pm December 17, 2012 #

  15. Just because lunch/closed campus,does not make a difference. It might make it easier,but honestly i feel like it would not make a difference whats so ever.

    Comment by Hello — 8:17 pm December 17, 2012 #

  16. Kudos for doing SOMETHING, but why just a week? Temporary solutions don’t seem to be the answer.

    Maybe, though, it is a week while they formulate a better answer.

    Comment by westcoastdeb — 8:23 am December 18, 2012 #

  17. I was in the Admiral Safeway once on my day off and saw the store staff assume their positions to watch for students shoplifting during lunch.

    My high school in North Seattle was a closed campus and still is. Our lunch times were staggered so that the cafeteria had room for those who bought lunch and those who brought their lunch. Even before school shootings I have wondered why high schools today are not closed campus

    Comment by sc — 10:48 am December 18, 2012 #

  18. West Seattle High School is also doing the closed campus. This was put in a letter on their website.
    My question is….aren’t they locked on both sides and wouldn’t that be an issue if there was a fire in the building.

    My other concern is that if they do open from the inside, can’t one student open it for another student/person allowing for entry with weapons?

    Comment by AN — 1:58 pm December 18, 2012 #

  19. thanks, Aly. I had asked SPS communications yesterday if this was Sealth only, or if others were doing the same – and the reply was just for Sealth. But now I just found what you’re mentioning, in the daily bulletin, and I see they just started today – TR
    .
    p.s. I’ve been in a lot of school buildings after hours for meetings and have never encountered a door locked from the inside, just the outside. Unless of course some physical locking measure is taken – such as chain/padlock …

    Comment by WSB — 2:04 pm December 18, 2012 #

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