11:36 AM: We went to the Denny International Middle School/Chief Sealth International High School campus after parents told us their children had texted to say they were sheltering in place. Police are reported to be looking for a student who is believed to have brought a weapon – believed to be a BB gun – to school.
11:52 AM: Police tell us they’ve located the student and the weapon, and the shelter-in-place should be lifted soon if it hasn’t been already.
2:27 PM: Denny principal Jeff Clark has just sent us the letter that he sent to families:
Dear Denny International Middle School families:
We have had a strong and focused second semester and continue to work to ensure that we have a positive school culture and a welcoming environment for everyone at all times.
We want to share information relating to incident at Denny today. Although no one was hurt, the situation raises concerns. Today, one of our scholars told a staff member that he had brought an airsoft pellet gun (plastic pellets) to school. School staff determined that a second scholar also had brought an airsoft pellet gun to school. The school coordinated with the Seattle Public Schools Safety and Security Team and the Seattle Police Department to locate both scholars and both pellet guns. Due to the fact that one of the scholars had left campus, we went into a Shelter-in-Place while we searched for the second scholar. Once he was located, both scholars were taken into custody by the Seattle Police Department. SPD is continuing the investigation and the involved parents have been contacted. Additionally, the scholars are being disciplined consistent with district procedures.
As you are aware, adolescents have complex social dynamics. Ensuring that they know appropriate behavioral expectations and always feel safe is our goal. We occasionally hear from them that they feel unsafe in the community and therefore carry weapons for protection. Our staff continues to discuss personal safety with them as well as district rules and state laws.
Most importantly, we wanted to let families know about these conversations and ask them to help all of our scholars understand the importance of keeping schools absolutely free of any type of weapon, as well as the importance of sharing critical safety information immediately with adults at school. We are providing a link to some additional information that might be helpful during these discussions. http://www.seattle.gov/police/community-policing/youth-safety-tips
Please be assured that the safety and security of our scholars is a top priority at Denny International School. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.