School system on lockdown as precaution

Rowan-Salisbury schools will be on lockdown today as a precaution, say school officials. The lockdown comes after heightened concerns from Rowan County parents and students a week after 26 people were killed in a Connecticut school shooting. The concerns also come days after an East Rowan student was suspended after a “threatening” Twitter message went viral.

The message indicated since the world was going to end, maybe he “should just go and start shooting people.” The student was adamant he was not serious, but school officials called in extra law enforcement to the school through the end of the week.

There are extra law enforcement officers in the schools throughout our district.

The Rowan-Salisbury School System will follow code yellow lockdown procedures today, according to a message from the county communications notification system.

The automated phone message, sent Thursday evening, told residents the lockdown is a precautionary measure due to “unfounded rumors.”

“Code yellow means that all doors are locked, and there are no outside activities,” the recording said. “This message is not meant to alarm anyone, but to let you know what the school system is doing to keep the students safe at school.”

People with questions are advised to contact their local school office during normal school hours, and they are asked not to call 911.

Rowan-Salisbury School System Spokeswoman Rita Foil said the system is proceeding forward with reviewing, researching and making changes wherever it can.

“We want nothing more than to be sure that our schools are secure and our safety procedures are as flawless as they can possibly be,” she said.

The school system is grateful to local law enforcement.

“They are invaluable partners to our schools and they are definitely going the extra mile and beyond to help us feel safe,” Foil said.

“They are amazing in the dedication and care that they give to our schools on a regular basis, but most especially during this last week. This community is extremely fortunate to have these officers protecting us,” she said.

There was some concern regarding students not attending school today. Foil said the principals will work with parents regarding any absences from school today.

“We understand the concerns of parents and we join with them in feeling the same concern for the safety of our children,” she said.

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