Sunday, December 15, 2019

SASD classes resume after safety concern investigated by law enforcement

On Dec. 2, it was reported to staff at the Sparta Area School District that a photo had been posted on a social media platform of a current student holding a handgun. 

“We perceived this to be a credible concern and moved forward per district protocol,” Superintendent Dr. Amy Van Deuren wrote in a press release. 

At approximately 2:45 p.m., Sparta High School went into a secure perimeter and classroom hold as a precautionary measure in response to the potential safety concern.

On Monday evening, the district made the decision to cancel school today (Dec. 3) due to the whereabouts of the student in question being unknown.

The initial information provided to law enforcement was the gun may have been stolen, however, after further police investigation, it was determined no crimes were committed at this time.

Another law enforcement agency made contact with the student in question and the student was not in possession of a firearm. 

A press release issued earlier today (Dec. 3) by the Sparta Police Department stated, “Never at any time was there a direct threat made towards the school, students or staff. We do not there is an increased risk to the safety of students and staff returning to school.” 

The district will resume high school activities this evening and school tomorrow (Dec. 4) with additional safety precautions in place. To help students and staff feel more safe at school, there will be an increased law enforcement presence in and around the district throughout the day tomorrow as classes resume.

“Our presence is simply for the comfort of the students as they return to their normal activities,” the press release stated.

Van Deuren wrote, “The safety of our students and staff is our top priority and we continue to act out of an abundance of caution. We look forward to resuming our normal school schedule tomorrow morning.”

The incident remains under investigation by the Sparta Police Department. 

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