UPDATE: Police at Denny/Sealth campus as ‘precaution’ after ‘fraudulent’ social-media threat


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

20 Replies to "UPDATE: Police at Denny/Sealth campus as 'precaution' after 'fraudulent' social-media threat"

  • Ava May 24, 2016 (12:24 pm)

    Thank you for updates 

    • WSB May 24, 2016 (12:28 pm)

      Sorry it took a while to track this down. I’ve just spoken to the Southwest Precinct commander and am adding more info.

      • Polly Aldrich May 24, 2016 (1:49 pm)


  • CSIHS mom May 24, 2016 (1:03 pm)

    I just spoke with my daughter who attends CSIHS and she stated they are in a Shelter-in-Place.  I am curious why the “Safety Alert System” that I signed up for was not used to inform parents of the situation.  This system was implemented to “quickly communicate to staff, student and families about REAL TIME safety incidents/threats”. 

  • Lily Phoenix May 24, 2016 (1:05 pm)

    I am a student at Chief Sealth, and I can confirm that we are in a shelter in place. We’re hoping the threats are empty, but who knows. I suppose it’s just good practice for a serious situation! 

  • DIMSmom May 24, 2016 (1:56 pm)

    Where are these letters going? I’ve never received one letter all year?!

    • WSB May 24, 2016 (2:09 pm)

      Please check with your school and make sure they have your correct e-mail address – that also came up at the March safety meeting (our coverage is linked in my earlier comment) – and/or check your spam box – TR

      • DIMSMOM May 24, 2016 (2:14 pm)

        I’ve checked with them to make sure they have my email and phone.  They have the correct info.  There is nothing in my spam.  They are not sending anything to parents.  I don’t get a paper letter home from school with my child either.  They are not informing parents of anything.  This is the only place I see the “letters” is here on the blog.  I’m fed up with SPS.

        • Admiral Mom May 24, 2016 (5:43 pm)

          I have been receiving the weekly emails and printed letters. They come every Monday printed on light blue paper.

    • Bonnie May 24, 2016 (2:27 pm)

      I have been receiving letters from both Denny and Sealth.

  • CSIHS Senior May 24, 2016 (2:33 pm)

    As a senior, it is upsetting to be surrounded by a police presence with no explanation. Throughout the day teachers have received emails with only limited communication to students. Admins were placed at all the doors and at the top of the stairs by student cars during our lunch period. Students were sent back from their cars without reason and there was no formal procedure for informing us about the events occurring at Deny other then a small announcement. I consistantly find more information here on the blog then in my school itself. I’m happy to be leaving but am concerned for the future. Chief Sealth was once a place I enjoyed attending. Now it is home to empty threats.  Outside of the circle of teachers whom I can trust to be honest and upfront about Sealth’s goings on, there seems to be little faith in the ability of students to react appropriately or at all when things such as this occur. However, I’m thankful that no one was hurt and that the police worked hard to ensure we were all safe. That should not be lost. 

  • DennyMom May 24, 2016 (4:17 pm)

    Like other parents I had no clue what was going on til I got a text from my son asking to be picked up. My other son attends CSIH and had no clue what was going on til I called him to tell him I was coming to pick him up. Very frustrating the schools need to inform parents immediately about situations at the school so we can make the decision that is best for our children. I FINALLY got an e-mail from the schools after school if this had been a serious issue it could have or would have been too late.

    • Admiral Mom May 24, 2016 (5:51 pm)

      I received the information on a timely manner and would be frustrated like you are if I hadn’t

  • Gene May 24, 2016 (5:40 pm)

    To all the parents/students who are not getting information from SPS- why not make  school your first stop tomorrow- ask to speak to the principal & get answers as to why you are not getting information. This must be very frustrating & worrisome.

  • llfauntleroy May 24, 2016 (8:09 pm)

    Parent to Sealth student: “How was shelter in place today?” student: “Fine” (goes to room, like every other day)

    • Bonnie May 24, 2016 (9:01 pm)

      My Denny student was all freaked out and wanted to go home so I reluctantly picked her and her friend up (with approval of her Mom) and within 15 minutes they were both goofing off like they were thrilled to find a reason to get out of school early.  My Sealth student (who did not call to be picked up) didn’t say much and wasn’t concerned at all.

  • Old Lady May 24, 2016 (10:58 pm)

    Those of you not getting notices- your kid is probably intercepting them.

    i did all through middle and high school.

    • Wes C. Addle May 25, 2016 (8:18 am)

      Strange that they had email alerts back then that you could intercept?

  • DIMSmom May 25, 2016 (11:40 am)

    No my child is not intercepting notices from school. I do receive the weekly bulletin in paper form on Mondays. This is not communication from the school regarding emergency situations. These are school calendar dates and school events that are also posted on the SPS school website. And yes I will be going to the school, again, to discuss this issue.

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