UPDATE: 1 arrested in incident that led to ‘shelter in place’ at Chief Sealth International High School

FIRST REPORT, 11:53 AM: According to a PA announcement our crew just heard at Chief Sealth International High School, “shelter in place” has just ended. This comes as police were called to the campus again today, one day after what was described as a “disturbance” brought them there and led to “shelter in place” throughout Thursday afternoon. We don’t know yet if today’s incident – in which a juvenile was taken into custody – is related to what happened yesterday, an incident for which a letter was sent home to parents last night. While it was not sent directly to WSB, several parents sent it to us late last night and early this morning, and we were working on a followup as we got word of today’s incident. The letter from principal Aida Fraser-Hammer:

Dear Chief Sealth International School families:

Teenagers have a complex social life, and sometimes situations that occur in the evening impact the climate of a school community in following days. Today, several students continued a dispute about an incident that happened several days previously. As the dispute escalated, a fight ensued and a larger disturbance was created that required additional Security Office and Seattle Police Department (SPD) support. The school partnered with SPD as we responded together to the dispute. SPD continued their presence through the end of school to ensure that students were safely dismissed.

Please know that we take safety for our students very seriously. District procedures were followed and the situation was resolved quickly and safely.

We are committed to doing everything we can to keep our students safe. We will continue to work with our students on skills to resolve conflict peacefully. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to speak with families and guardians directly.

District spokesperson Kim Schmanke confirmed to WSB that “procedures” yesterday included being in “shelter in place” throughout the afternoon as a “precaution.” While SFD was called to the campus at 11:30 am during yesterday’s incident, they tell us today that no one needed to be transported. We had a request out for the police report on the Thursday incident and also are seeking more information on what happened today, and will add anything more we find out.

ADDED 3:45 PM: SPD has just told us that the report from Thursday’s incident is not yet available but, according to police spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson, “It was a fight disturbance between several students … This appeared to have started over an unreported incident off campus a week prior. There were no arrests made and officers were around campus at the end of school to ensure no further incidents occurred. ” Regarding today’s incident, Det. Jamieson adds: “Today there was a second disturbance involving several students at Chief Sealth. This appeared to be a continuation of yesterday’s disturbance. One 17-year-old male was arrested. The fight broke up and school resumed.”

P.S. The Chief Sealth PTSA’s annual safety meeting – at which topics include the difference between shelter-in-place and lockdown – is coming up on February 7th, 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW).

ADDED 6:34 PM: Just received from principal Fraser-Hammer, the letter that has gone to families tonight:

Dear Chief Sealth International School families:

I want to notify you of another unfortunate event that occurred at school today. This incident involved a confrontation between four students during lunch. Given the situation that occurred yesterday, and in a spirit of precaution and prevention of further escalation, we immediately called the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and decided to go into a shelter-in-place mode. When Sealth goes into a shelter-in-place, Denny does as well.

Both district security and SPD responded and after we assessed the situation, the shelter-in-place was ended at both schools, returning our campus to a normal school day.

SPD and the district are continuing the investigations, including determining if yesterday’s and today’s incidents are related.

Given these recent occurrences, it is important for us as staff and community members to get together to talk about next steps and ways to prevent situations like this. Please join the Chief Sealth PTSA at their next meeting on 2/7/2018 in High Point at Neighborhood House at 6:30 PM where the topics will include safety within the community and at school. Please also talk with your students about how to solve problems proactively and reporting potential situations that might cause student conflicts. As you are aware, our schools have support for students including counselors, conflict resolution programs and administrative support.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact either of us. We will be happy to speak with families and guardians directly.

31 Replies to "UPDATE: 1 arrested in incident that led to 'shelter in place' at Chief Sealth International High School"

  • Lesley January 26, 2018 (3:27 pm)

    My son said Denny was Shelter in place too. I only find this all out after school of course. It breaks my heart so much that this is the world we live in now.

    • Doree Fazio-Young January 26, 2018 (4:11 pm)

      Yes Lesley Denny was also in A Shelter in Place. I’e been the Lunch Lady there for 26 years. I have the utmost confidence in our staff and Security Staff that they always keep our School environment a safe one for all of us. And we as the Staff do everything to make our kids feel at ease.

  • Sealth Parent January 26, 2018 (4:37 pm)

    We will continue to see these problems if the Administration continues to minimize them so they don’t reflect negatively on the school. They MUST be open to and reach out to all available programs that can help them stop these confrontations before they grow to what we saw this week. I will definately be at the safety meeting next week.

  • m January 26, 2018 (4:46 pm)

    My son is a student @ Sealth. I didn’t receive communication from the Principal until she sent an email out at 5:50pm last night. The first I heard of today’s incident was from the WSB. As of right now (4:45pm), no word from the school. 

  • AH Parent January 26, 2018 (5:04 pm)

    Does anyone know details?  I have a Denny and Sealth student who both said a gun was involved.

    • QandAsmom January 28, 2018 (10:38 pm)

      There. Was. No. Gun.

  • wsmom January 26, 2018 (5:20 pm)

    Instead of complaining get involved!  Join the PTSA and the community.  Become involved with the school and teachers.

    • m January 26, 2018 (6:51 pm)

      I have been involved in numerous meetings, including the PTSA, one-on-one meetings with the Principal, one-on-one meetings with counseling staff. The response from the Principal and counselors to concerns about inadequate communication to families regarding incidents like this has consistently been met with blank looks and vague words from the Principal, and general replies from the counseling staff that the school is ensuring that all students are always kept safe.

      • Seattlite January 26, 2018 (9:38 pm)

        A totally unacceptable response to concerned parents.  I hope you told them their response was not good enough.

  • WSB January 26, 2018 (6:34 pm)

    Just got today’s letter home, directly from the principal this time. Adding above.

  • Gene January 26, 2018 (6:56 pm)

    Hey WSMOM- how exactly do you know these commenters aren’t involved or part of PTSA?  Not sure I’d call comments complaints- more concerns- & I would have those same concerns if my child had ‘ sheltered in place’ & info didn’t get to me until evening – or like today – finding out from sources other than school.

  • CP January 26, 2018 (8:44 pm)

    I was pleased to see you use the correct word “students” instead of “scholars” in the Jan 26 posting.  As is commonly known, not all students are scholars.  Especially by a school would correct word usage be expected.  Thank you.

  • Bmc January 26, 2018 (8:58 pm)

    Gang stuff?

  • Seattlite January 26, 2018 (9:41 pm)

    Hopefully, the parents of the trouble makers will make sure their kids understand that their behavior is unacceptable and will deal with their kids accordingly.  The trouble makers should be expelled from school until they understand right from wrong.

  • Not_Happy January 26, 2018 (11:51 pm)

    I’m with @M – need better, more clear communication with real information. 

    Came home from work this afternoon to hear my son describe another “disturbance” at Sealth.  This time involving a gun.  “A GUN? I haven’t heard ANYTHING from the school about a disturbance or a gun being involved”.  A hour and a half later i get the mail from the Principal.

    It would be great if the email had said whether a gun was involved.  There’s a fight and then there’s a fight where a gun is pulled.  Fraser Hamilton describes a fight, but my son describes a fight that ends with a gun being pulled, which one is correct?

    • Sealth Parent January 29, 2018 (8:22 pm)

      My understanding is that there was no gun involved in the fights but rumors of kids having guns on them. 

  • Elle Nell January 27, 2018 (12:41 am)

    So I was driving by Sealth yesterday after what must have been this “disturbance”. I saw 2 cops cars with lights on on the complex side of street with about 4-6 police on the Sealth side. They were standing guard and watching a group of teenage guys and a couple girls walking slowly and tauntingly up the street towards the pool.. they were looking like, “yea, we’re coming back” and super intimidating … I thought to myself, those kids should have been taken to their respective homes or back to the station and had their parents pick them up..! Parents most likely do not know what those kids were doing and frankly those kids didn’t look like they did either… no guidance.. that’s what wrong with this picture— make them answer to something damn it!!! 

    • QandAsmom January 28, 2018 (10:43 pm)

      This was during lunch. Students had the right to be walking across the street. 

  • Gawdger January 27, 2018 (1:00 pm)

    Summit Atlas is sounding better every day that passes.  

    • Admiral Mom January 27, 2018 (3:28 pm)

      FYI Chief Sealth is a High School

      Totally different beast

  • Anonymous January 27, 2018 (5:07 pm)

    Summit Atlas is a prison disguised as a school. Not that Sealth is any better… 

    • Mm January 27, 2018 (6:57 pm)

      Sealth a prison? Hide behind your anonymity and keep your rude and disrespectful comments to yourself. So uncalled for and laced with racist undertones. 

      • Imright January 28, 2018 (2:23 pm)

        Mm- so quick to call racist- help me understand what about the post is laced with racist undertones? Of course you also say the poster is hiding in anonymity- but you’re different, I guess with Mm ..? 

        • Mm January 28, 2018 (4:22 pm)

          Calling Sealth a prison when our prisons are disproportionately filled with people of color is what I mean by racist undertones. Not hard to connect when Sealth is beautifully diverse.

          • Lilith January 29, 2018 (10:21 am)

            Doesn’t matter if Sealth is diverse. Also there was nothing racist with Anonymous’s comment. Plus, if you didn’t know, Racism is just a social constructure and biologically doesn’t exist.

  • Anonymous January 27, 2018 (6:08 pm)

    There was more than one fight Thursday and far more students involved Friday. Some was across the street. 

    At least two senior staff members called for a lockdown, which the principal declined. There needs to be a thorough independent investigation of what happened both days and the measures taken to insure the safety of the students and staff.

  • NCLB January 28, 2018 (8:59 am)

    Good, bad, honor roll, drop out, No Child Left Behind is an unusual way to mix a wide spectrum of kids into one melting pot and wonder why there are issues. Don’t worry there a pile of issues at our elementary school too but resolved with pushing and name calling. I believe the level of resorting to fists or worse elevates with age or exposure to how other kids on the news resolve issues.

  • Parent January 29, 2018 (10:47 am)

    It is time for Principal Fraser Hammer to move on.  It’s time.

    I heard from my student that the fight involved a group of kids and one was a gang member. 

    When I called her to discuss her lack of communication with parents, she admitted that “yeah she has heard that same complaint from her constituents, and she needs to work on that.”. 

    That was two years ago. Nothing has changed. Her communication about most everything involving that school leaves much to be desired. 

  • WSB January 29, 2018 (11:55 am)

    I will have a followup later with details from at least one of the police reports. But wanted to note here quickly since a rumor came up in an earlier comment. The police report verifies NO WEAPONS.

  • heylady January 29, 2018 (2:06 pm)

    Can anyone say more about Summit Atlas? Good, bad, indifferent?

    • Anonymous January 29, 2018 (4:53 pm)

      From a student point of view, Summit Atlas’ program hasnt exactly worked for me. Because of the learning platform allowing students to go at their own pace, I often find myself having to sit through lessons that I already did on my own (since I tend to move along faster than most). On the flip side, teachers sometimes skip over lessons on the learning platform altogether. That’s particularly annoying because you have to pass all the content assessments (the multiple choice tests that test you on each section of the learning platform) in order to get an overall passing grade. I would write more but I’m kinda rushing somewhere (will add more later)

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