12:14 PM: Several parents have e-mailed to ask why Denny International Middle School is in shelter-in-place mode. We first checked with Seattle Police, and were told there is NOT an emergency situation, though police are on “directed patrol” at the campus. We’re now at the school and should know more shortly – will update when we do.
12:17 PM: Patrol officers are at the school on bicycles as well as in cars, and the Southwest Precinct’s Mobile Precinct van is too.
We expect to talk to police soon but in the meantime, school security tells us that this is the result of “a rumor on social media.”
12:28 PM: Just talked with Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis. He confirms this relates to a threat posted on social media but says they have spent some time investigating this and confirming it does not appear to be a credible threat. According to Capt. Davis, the student account where this threat appeared had been “hacked into” – they verified that it was not posted by the account owner. Meantime, one parent tells us Chief Sealth next door also is sheltering in place – we haven’t confirmed that yet, but since the two schools are adjacent, that wouldn’t seem unlikely.
ADDED 1:21 PM: Denny principal Jeff Clark has shared the message sent to families of Denny and Sealth students:
Dear Denny and Sealth Families,
This morning a few scholars shared information with school staff about some social media messaging that included mention of a potential weapon being brought to school. We immediately began consultation with the Seattle Police Department. As an extra precaution, as the credibility and details were investigated, we began a shelter-in-place, which means we lock the exterior doors and keep school operating normally inside the building. After investigating, the Seattle Police Department has determined that the messaging came from a fraudulent Facebook account.
Simply as an extra precaution, SPD suggested that we keep the shelter-in-place status until the near the end of the school day at 2:15, which we will do. We have been cleared to have normal dismissal from school and have our scholars go home as they do normally. We will continue to have afterschool activities.
We would like to thank our scholars for sharing this information with us right away. Additionally, we would like to thank our partners at the Seattle Police Department who responded right away with an extra presence at school and in the community and for helping us to determine that the situation was safe. As always, safety is our top priority. Thank you for your support.
Denny and Sealth Administration