SCHOOLS: Sealth/Denny shelter-in-place; Sealth/WSHS football game canceled

12:37 PM: Thanks for the tips about students sheltering in place at Chief Sealth International High School and adjacent Denny International Middle School; we saw one police car at the school and contacted the SPD media office. They told us, “We had reports of approximately a dozen students fighting at the football field. School went into modified lockdown. Officers responded to the area and could not locate any disturbance or anyone on the football field. Lockdown was lifted.” We also have a request out to the district for information. (4:13 pm note: Still no additional details, except the district has told us, twice, that no one was injured.)

1:12 PM: We do NOT know if it’s related but this came up in comment discussion below and is now confirmed – the scheduled Chief Sealth/West Seattle HS football game tonight, aka the Huling Bowl, has been canceled. WSHS principal Brian Vance sent this text message to families a short time ago (thanks to those who forwarded it to us):

I wanted to inform families that TONIGHT’S FOOTBALL GAME WITH CHIEF SEALTH HAS BEEN CANCELED. I do not, at this time, have all of the information regarding the cancellation and will share more as I get that information. I do know that it is not the result of anything on the WSHS side of things.

1:21 PM: CSIHS athletic director Ernest Policarpio also confirms the game is canceled but has no comment on why. He says they’re going to try to reschedule. (The game was scheduled to be played ta Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex, which is across the street from Sealth but is both schools’ home field; WSHS was to be the home team.)

5:11 PM: Denny principal Jeff Clark has sent us the letter he and Sealth principal Ray Morales have sent to families:

Dear Chief Sealth and Denny Student and Families:

We are writing to let you know about an incident that occurred at Chief Sealth today. This morning, there was a physical altercation between a group of students. Staff responded immediately, separating the students involved. Out of an abundance of caution, the campus went into a Shelter-in-Place. The Seattle Police Department was called to help make sure there were no related incidents at the athletic complex.

A Shelter-in-Place is the process of keeping students and staff safe from incidents outside the building. Exterior doors are locked, and students remain in classrooms and go about normal activities.

Please be assured that the safety of every child is our number one priority. The Chief Sealth staff will continue to engage with our students proactively with an emphasis on restorative justice to repair any needed relationship harm.

We are proud of the way students at both Chief Sealth and Denny responded to the Shelter-in-Place. Throughout the process, students respectfully followed health and safety protocols.

This evening’s Chief Sealth Football game has been postponed and will be rescheduled for a future date.

Thank you for your ongoing support and partnership!


Principal Ray Morales
Chief Sealth International High School

Principal Jeff Clark
Denny International Middle School

92 Replies to "SCHOOLS: Sealth/Denny shelter-in-place; Sealth/WSHS football game canceled"

  • Teacher September 17, 2021 (12:40 pm)

    The shelter in place has not been lifted. (12:40pm)

    • WSB September 17, 2021 (12:41 pm)

      We’ve also contacted the district but police are who we heard back from first.

      • Me September 17, 2021 (12:48 pm)

        I’m now hearing the Huling Bowl is cancelled?

        • WSB September 17, 2021 (12:59 pm)

          That is **a rumor** that we are also investigating.

          • SLJ September 17, 2021 (1:03 pm)

            Just got a text from WSHS that the Huling Bowl was cancelled, but evidently the reason isn’t related to WSHS specifically. Weather maybe?

          • Anne September 17, 2021 (1:47 pm)

            What weather? 

          • Riley September 17, 2021 (1:06 pm)

            Huling bowl was canceled 

          • WSB September 17, 2021 (1:15 pm)

            Yes, we’ve added that above. Thanks.

        • West seattle player September 22, 2021 (12:32 am)

          we weren’t allowed to play being a west seattle player i looked forward to this game and taking trophy back we might re schedule for the end of the season but it’s a slight chance

  • JSG September 17, 2021 (12:43 pm)

    Not lifted as of 12:43 and hearing that Denny is locked down (not shelter-in-place).

  • Stan September 17, 2021 (12:52 pm)

    Word is that tonight’s Football Game with WS has been cancelled… ?

  • Regina September 17, 2021 (12:53 pm)

    Students from inside the school are still reporting they are on lockdown.

  • changing times September 17, 2021 (12:55 pm)

    another reason to go full time at home remote schooling. just say’n

    • WS Parent September 17, 2021 (2:53 pm)

      Not really.  As the parent of two teenagers, I can see how important it is for them to have something as close as possible to a normal educational experience in the midst of this pandemic.  The benefits of in-person learning are well documented.  If this truly was an incident involving the threat of a firearm, the better take-away would be the need for gun control in this country.

    • westwood September 17, 2021 (3:03 pm)

      Feel free to live in your bunker, afraid of everything.  The rest of us will be out here living our lives.  And as a parent of two teenagers…I echo WS Parent’s sentiments.

  • JSG September 17, 2021 (12:55 pm)

    just lifted at Sealth

  • Luckie September 17, 2021 (12:58 pm)

    I’ve heard that tonight’s football game at SWAC is canceled. Is there more information about this?

  • Stan September 17, 2021 (1:04 pm)

    Just received a Text from the WS Principal stating that the game had been cancelled, but, not due to anything at WSHS

  • Go Wildcats September 17, 2021 (1:04 pm)

    Per school wide text from Principal Vance the game is cancelled tonight.

    • WSB September 17, 2021 (1:06 pm)

      Someone just forwarded us that about 60 seconds ago.

  • Rae September 17, 2021 (1:17 pm)

    Kids are still reporting being locked down after a gun threat? And also fights inside the school? Any updates?

    • WSB September 17, 2021 (1:28 pm)

      The district also says the shelter-in-place is lifted.

    • Jessica September 17, 2021 (1:46 pm)

      Denny office just confirmed the shelter in place was already lifted, all is fine she said. 

  • Christine Erstad September 17, 2021 (1:38 pm)

    My grand-daughters friend goes to Sealth  and she said the game was canceled because there was a threat of a shooting.

  • Max September 17, 2021 (1:44 pm)

    Meanwhile nothing from Chief Sealth to parents…

    • NativeMom September 17, 2021 (2:35 pm)

      Also a Chief Sealth parent I have not heard anything from the school or the district. I heard about this from my sister who saw it here on the blog.Unacceptable  

    • NativeMom September 17, 2021 (2:39 pm)

      Also a Cheif Sealth parent. I have not heard from the school or the district. I only found out what was happening from my sister, who saw it here on the Blog.

    • SealthParent September 17, 2021 (2:43 pm)

      You have to sign up for the CSIHS safety alerts to get updates. Which I only found out about today after my kid texted to say there was a lockdown. I don’t like that I had to dig to find it, but at least there is something… Hoping there is more information later.

      • Max September 17, 2021 (3:08 pm)

        I have that and didn’t get notified. The principal should still send something out, that is part of his job.

      • Rachael September 17, 2021 (3:12 pm)

        I encourage all parents to sign up for remind. It is a great communication tool. 

        • SealthParent September 17, 2021 (9:08 pm)

          Well, it is district policy that the school admin have to deal with what is happening in the school before they can alert parents with a letter or message. They also can’t just write something about the incident, it first has to be approved by the district. So, yeah, it took a while to get info. But, I’d rather the teachers and admin be taking care of the students and other staff than making sure parents know what’s going on. 

    • Ben September 17, 2021 (5:59 pm)

      It is worth noting that the admin team’s first priority is the immediate health and safety of the students. The schools are underfunded and understaffed, so taking time to leave a volatile situation for an update email to families would be an egregious lapse in judgement. Instead they chose to stay in the hallways, check in with students, determine the cause, and diffuse emotions.

      • Brynn September 17, 2021 (8:05 pm)

        So perfectly said. I am a Sealth Parent, I feel Mr. Morales updated as soon as he had a moment.

  • Schoolkid September 17, 2021 (1:49 pm)

    There was a gun threat?

    • WSB September 17, 2021 (2:06 pm)

      Lots and lots of rumors at both schools. There is no confirmation of any such threat. We’ll add anything more that emerges but for now, this is what we have.

  • anonymous September 17, 2021 (2:05 pm)

    what caused this?

  • Schoolkid September 17, 2021 (2:25 pm)

    Is everyone okay?

    • WSB September 17, 2021 (2:58 pm)

      The district spokesperson said he had no reports of any injuries. Also, there was no SFD dispatch to the school (they’d usually be sent for an injury).

  • J September 17, 2021 (2:31 pm)

    Sure would have been nice to receive a notice from Denny versus reading it on Facebook that your kid’s school is in lock-down.🙄😰

  • Mike September 17, 2021 (2:42 pm)

    So why is the game cancelled?? If the lockdown is lifted? 

  • Teacher September 17, 2021 (3:02 pm)

    It was NOOOOOT a lockdown. It was a shelter-in-place.

    • Mike September 17, 2021 (7:09 pm)

      For someone who lives near the school, but isn’t a parent of a student, what’s the difference? 

      • J September 17, 2021 (7:24 pm)

        Doors are locked but business can carry on as usual. 

  • Rachael September 17, 2021 (3:06 pm)

    Bummer. I just got the text from Mr.Vance as well. Hope all the kids in that fight are okay. What a scary thing for the rest of the kids to go thru. My kid went through a lockdown in middle school and he was scared to death. 

  • Melanie September 17, 2021 (3:16 pm)

    Is the game cancelled?  Are the lockdowns lifted?  Why haven’t I received any updates?  Was there a gun involved, were any children hurt?  

    • WSB September 17, 2021 (4:11 pm)

      Yes, the game is canceled, we reported that above at 1:12 pm. The district has told us twice that the shelter-in-place was lifted, and that no one was hurt. But no other details, and we wouldn’t have heard in the first place if not for texts from parents who had received texts from their kids; we then contacted police and the district for info.

  • Bill September 17, 2021 (3:25 pm)

    Why do I hear about this from my kid at the end of the day?     Why didn’t Seattle Schools send out an alert to parents at BOTH Denny and Sealth‽. What kind of incompetence is at play here?

  • Paul September 17, 2021 (3:29 pm)

    There were multiple fights and threats of gang violence, some of which came to fruition in the school today, and others which were supposed to happen at tonight’s now-cancelled Huling Bowl.  Kids swinging on teachers. HP and Stack involved.  It’s all over Snapchat and other social media outlets. I’d say ask your kid…but if you fit the mold of the vocal majority of this blog’s commenters and are the type of person who think you’re working towards an equitable community experience by cleaning up a candy wrapper on the sidewalk of  your Admiral neighborhood, you’re probably unaware of what a lot of kids actually experience in schools. 

    • Bmc September 17, 2021 (4:51 pm)

      So just say it Paul – what are we missing. 

    • anonymous September 17, 2021 (8:07 pm)

      Wow Paul, snap

    • 1994 September 17, 2021 (9:58 pm)

      I received a robo call from Principal Morales, said there was a shelter in place but it was lifted, everyone is safe, the football game is cancelled tonight. I asked my CSIHS student what happened and he said he saw a group of about 15 boys fighting, the teachers broke it up. My son said it didn’t look like anyone was hurt. I imagine for the school to notify parent s will take a few minutes to put together a message, right?! They can ‘t just text out the school is on shelter in place and leave everyone hanging on what is happening…..I give Principal Morales an A for communication. And for any teachers who broke up a fight – yikes!~ be safe!

      • 1994 September 17, 2021 (11:47 pm)

        I received a text at 3:30 not a robo call from Principal Morales – he still gets the A and I get a D for my mix-up.

    • Casey September 18, 2021 (8:41 am)

      Yep, Paul. I always say this as well. The kids know, it’s all over Snap, etc. My 16 year old doesn’t even go to that school and called to tell me. 

    • Mellow Kitty September 18, 2021 (9:11 am)

      I agree, Paul. There was a huge fight on school grounds and threats of further violence at the game – if I were in charge, I would have cancelled the entire football season, not just one game – (that’s probably why I’m not put in charge of anything. I’m pretty ruthless and unforgiving.)

  • marci mckay September 17, 2021 (3:33 pm)

    Was not a lockdown, it was a shelter in place.

  • LG September 17, 2021 (3:57 pm)

    I’ve seen video of the fight and during the fight you can see a window come down.  She heard that a gun fell out of a backpack during the fight and you can see something that *looks* like a gun on the floor. My kid heard that during the fight someone got stabbed but I’m not sure about that.  She also heard that it was all over the football game tonight.Before anyone asks- I will not be posting or sending that video to anyone as they’re minors so that’s not legal.  I have contacted SPS to let them know it exists if they need it.

    • WSB September 17, 2021 (4:03 pm)

      Only thing I can say for sure is that the district has reiterated to us, no injuries, students or adults. And the 911 SFD log has no dispatch to that area (they would have dispatched for any injury of note).

    • Stephen J. September 17, 2021 (4:23 pm)

      Do you have link to video? I do not think you are correct that there is anything illegal about posting a video of minors.

    • Deon September 18, 2021 (3:19 pm)

      The fight had nothing to do with the football game so stop with that lie. Not one football player was involved in the incident. The football team is the losers in all this. Those kids didn’t nothing wrong and lost a chance to play

  • Stephen J. September 17, 2021 (4:23 pm)

    I hear there’s footage of the incident on Tik Tok but don’t know how to use. Does anyone have a link to the incident?

  • CSHS Parent September 17, 2021 (4:39 pm)

    My student said there were threats someone was going to shoot up the game. So my question is: metal detectors at school. Police at schools. Do we really want another mass shooting? 

    • Mike September 17, 2021 (5:55 pm)

      I’m one for detection of weapons prior of entering any school or events ….if the Mariners and Seahawks do it so can the school districts.

    • Parent September 17, 2021 (9:34 pm)

      So it was a student ranting about shooting people up at the football game and then a fight broke out and it wasn’t clear whether student had gun on them so student went to shelter in place and cops were called in the apprehend student making threat

  • WindowWest September 17, 2021 (5:10 pm)

    All these comments prove one thing…SPS needs to gather facts and communicate quickly with parents. Which they have not and THAT is unacceptable. 

    • Mellow Kitty September 18, 2021 (9:16 am)

      Actually it proves kids need to be taught respect & self-control and that violence is not the answer to everything. 

  • WSB September 17, 2021 (5:14 pm)

    Just received the official Sealth/Denny letter to families and added it above – TR

  • Kim September 17, 2021 (6:07 pm)

    Stop the rumor mill parents! Wait until you learn the truth about what happened. Have you ever played the game telephone with a group? If yes, then you know what actually happened is completely different then what you are told from your teenagers hear, who heard it from so and so.   The school probably has hundreds of students who were in class following directions and doing what they were supposed to be doing and a few bad apples once again is messing up your teenagers education. 

    • JR September 17, 2021 (7:26 pm)

      Thank You Kim!  I understand that in the absence of full info, the rumor mill fills the void.  As responsible adults we must resist this. Stick to the facts. Something big did go down at Sealth. They sheltered (as appropriate). They probably could have communicated better, but at least they made safety priority 1. It’s a bummer the game was cancelled; it really was important to a lot of people… me too, absolutely.  But again, safety is priority 1. This had nothing to do w/ WSHS, but it takes two to play a game and if this drama was likely to carry over to the game, and SPS cannot ensure safety at the stadium, then… I guess it has to be cancelled. I feel sorry for the large group of athletes, students, families, etc. that are negatively affected because the adults/authorities cannot manage these situations. It’s tough. These are the times we as a society have cultivated..?

  • JJ September 17, 2021 (8:45 pm)

    Well, if it prevented any more violence than I’m glad the school was locked down and the game cancelled. I can imagine a much, much worse ending to the day. Good work SPS staff and police. You are heroes protecting our children.

  • Teacher at Sealth September 17, 2021 (11:01 pm)

    As a teacher at Sealth, I appreciate all the folks in this thread that are advocating for safety in the school first, communication to families second. I witnessed some of what happened today and our admin team worked incredibly hard to help keep our school community stay as safe as possible in the moment. That involved a shelter in place (classroom doors locked is the main protocol) and making the decision to cancel the football game tonight to keep our entire community safe to try to diffuse the tension. I think it’s easy for folks to point fingers, but all of us need to remember that these are very trying times, emotions are running very high (for all of us); we are still in the middle of pandemic and yet, we are back at school. These times call for grace and compassion. Thank you for trusting that folks are doing the best they can right now.  Sealth is an amazing place. 

    • Denny Parent September 18, 2021 (8:18 am)

      Thank you!  I so appreciate the positive and the helpful remarks.  My son texted from school and told me they were locked down and he was fine.  He felt safe and didn’t seem concerned at all.  I was of course!!!  Based on his reaction clearly the teachers and administrators were fabulous!  Thank you 💜

    • Lajwestseattle September 18, 2021 (9:03 am)

      As an educator from a different high school (and a CSIHS parent) I want to thank you for your post and emphasize the last point you made. We are all stretched so thin right now—many of us almost to the breaking point. Even in the best of times, navigating student situations such as this one is challenging. But the added stress and responsibilities related to the pandemic (and there is a wide range of both of these) create myriad additional complexities. I know we are all doing the very best we can in these extraordinary times. I feel confident that Principal Morales and his team prioritized student safety—which is absolutely what I would want them to do. I am grateful to all the Sealth staff for your commitment to serving and supporting our children and our community. 

    • Allan September 18, 2021 (2:17 pm)

      Thank you for being a teacher.From videos online it is clear that the football coach was right there separating boys after the fight started.  Supposedly this was all over a McChicken sandwich, which differs from your account.As a parent I am left to wonder if the game was cancelled because football players were involved.  If so, that is a troubling decision.  If not, then I am left to worry for our children’s safety because threats of future violence must have existed.  Yet we have not been made aware of them.Either way, as a parent I am not content with the manner in which this is being handled and or communicated.  I hope there can be more respect for concerns of parents from the school administration.

  • Denny/Sealth Employee September 17, 2021 (11:10 pm)

    I work at Denny/Sealth and I want to make sure that everyone knows that the altercation that took place today had nothing to do with the Huling bowl or any football players from either school. There were rumors on social media that there was going to be a big fight at Sealth today which ultimately came to fruition. Following the incident there were rumors that more fights were going to potentially occur at the game tonight, so it was cancelled out of an abundance of caution. The collective student body at Sealth as well as the football team are very disappointed. Everyone is hopeful that the game can be rescheduled for later in the season. Just wanted to make sure that everybody knows that the incident was not at all related to the game. 

    • Allan September 18, 2021 (2:28 pm)

      Thank you for the details.  Can you explain why the football coach is visible in the videos separating the fighting boys?  Was that just a coincidence, and you are saying that none of those children partaking in the violence play on the football team? 

      • Sealth Staff September 18, 2021 (3:00 pm)

        That was not the football coach, it was the Sealth shop teacher who also serves as the girls basketball coach which is why he was in Sealth coaches gear. The football coach at Sealth did respond to the incident because in his role as the restorative justice coordinator at Denny middle school he was asked to come lend a hand.

      • Sealth Staff September 18, 2021 (3:32 pm)

        Also, the football team was wearing their white away jerseys at school yesterday as part of the game day tradition. They would have been easily identifiable had they been involved. 

      • Daron Camacho September 18, 2021 (3:49 pm)

        Hello Allan,I am the proud Head Coach for Chief Sealth Football. Not only am I the football and wrestling coach for Chief Sealth I also serve as the restorative justice coordinator at Denny Middle School. During the time of this unfortunate event I happened to be taking my lunch break at Sealth per usual. As an adult and staff member I rushed up to the scene to help other staff members deescalate the situation. I find it hard to believe that you were able to point me out in the video because I know for a fact I didn’t separate any students who were fighting, by the time I got there all the students were already separated. As a leader in the community my players being involved wouldn’t have been the decision of whether id help deescalate the situation or not. I am the head football coach but I also serve my community, Chief Sealth/Denny.As for the football game my players and coaching staff were 100% ready to compete in Fridays game. Decisions around the game were not made by anyone on the coaching staff.  If there are any other questions please feel free to email me at djscamacho@gmail.comThank you,Daron

        • Alan September 18, 2021 (5:10 pm)

          Coach- thanks for your service and candor.  It sounds like you must have been as disappointed as the rest of us when the game was cancelled.  We just want our kids to be safe and to learn and all that stuff. So this parent’s next question will be to the head office, asking why they decided to cancel a football game because some boys were fighting at lunch over something possibly as trivial as a McChicken.  Go Seahawks!

  • Admiral September 17, 2021 (11:33 pm)

    Let’s make this game happen still! The West Seattle coaching staff and players offered to play Sealth:

    – anywhere in the state
    – with no fans and a heavy police presence at the game
    – at any time of day or night

    The only thing Sealth offered was to move the game to the last week of the season and force West Seattle to chose to either play Sealth or go to the state playoffs.

    That’s a no win situation and unfair to the guys and coaches at WSHS who have worked their butts off this year to take back the Huling Bowl trophy.

    West Seattle will meet Sealth any day, any time, anywhere for this game. 2am at Memorial Stadium Sunday morning? Sign us up! If Sealth won’t, time to give back the trophy!

    • Tgthebeast September 18, 2021 (3:04 pm)

      Give back the trophy? It’s been at home the last 4 years lol.

    • Student September 21, 2021 (10:22 am)

      unfortunately it’s also unfair for the football players at sealth because none of them were involved. but this is all about keeping people safe and the admin at sealth canceled the game because they felt it wasn’t going to be safe. 

  • Gella September 18, 2021 (2:14 am)

    As an educator/server and a single parent of three, the darkest narrative of this incident is the presence of a cyclical deficit in supporting our youth . We all can not be there for our kids every second, because maybe we have to work 60 hours a week to feed them (me) or a myriad of other complexities that reflect on our ability to do what we have to do to give our children all of the skills that other families may have more ease in providing, but there has to be a common collective of care that says “starting a path of  Incarceration is a hard system to shake”, that says “the physical violence you will ensue will rest on your consciousness in a loud or quiet way always”. Our educators can only do so much and this behavior is part of a reality always, so what are we as a whole community are going to do for this generation? Sorry y’all i know as a mama I have to teach my babes to be able to hold there own on the street if they have to, but I know deeply/personally that the struggle of consequence is hard as f—!!!! 

  • TJ September 18, 2021 (7:25 am)

    Cancelling the game was a huge overreaction. The adults aren’t showing any mettle now days, and rolling over and cancelling a event many people look forward to because of a fight 7 hours before isn’t setting a good example 

    • Mellow Kitty September 18, 2021 (1:02 pm)

      Actually, it show kids that bad behavior has consequences. Cancelling a game they were looking forward to was the right response. Letting kids get away with everything is why we have do deal with increased violence and unacceptable behaviors. Start making them take responsibility for their own actions. Make them face the consequences of their behavior. 

      • Sealth Staff September 18, 2021 (1:36 pm)

        The cancellation was not a punishment. There were no football players involved, and this fight had nothing to do with the game or any rivalry between the schools. It just happened to occur the same day as the game, and there were rumors that there were going to be more fights at the game this evening. The cancellation came out of an abundance of caution for public safety. It does feel like a punishment because both schools had to ultimately miss out on rivalry week. However I do think it was the best decision given the information that school officials had following the incident. Sorry people were looking forward to a high school football game, but the safety of our community should be the ultimate priority. I just wanted to make sure that everybody knows that this altercation is stemming from issues that have nothing to do with football or the Huling bowl.

    • Allan September 18, 2021 (2:18 pm)

      Agreed.  Especially if it turns out this was really football players fighting over a mcchicken sandwich at lunch.

      • Sealth Staff September 18, 2021 (2:46 pm)

        As someone close to the situation, I’m telling you that it had nothing to do with football players or the team. The incident didn’t even occur in the lunch room it just happen to take place during lunch. There are greater issue that the school/community is dealing with that can’t be divulged at this time because of the ongoing investigation into the incident. But I can assure you this game was not canceled over a chicken sandwich LOL.

        • Alsn September 18, 2021 (5:56 pm)

          Thank you for looking after our children.  It does seem clear now that football players were probably not involved.But if what you say is correct, then there is most likely an ongoing safety threat to our children at school.  And the school administration has not told us anything about that.  If there is a danger to our kids, we should be made aware.Given the info currently at hand, it seems that either this was an overreaction to cancel the game for an unrelated fight about a McChicken sandwich, or else our children may be in danger and we are being kept in the dark.  Neither of those options make me very happy as a Sealth parent.

      • Deon September 18, 2021 (3:26 pm)

        No football players where involved in the fight 

  • Ex-Westwood Resident September 18, 2021 (4:57 pm)

    HUGE over reaction to cancel the game and punishing two football teams that had NOTHING to do, or were involved with the fight.

    A better option would have been to ban fans from the school involved in the fight (or all HS kids), but let the parents of the players attend, the game.

    There were better options available than outright canceling the game.

Sorry, comment time is over.