The following information is being provided to you as follow-up to two situations at West High School over the last two days.
Over the last 24 hours, Mankato Area Public Schools officials and the Mankato Department of Public Safety have worked together closely, and it is important to reiterate that yesterday’s medical emergency in the parking lot off of Pleasant Street involved one individual and at no time was there a threat to any West student or staff member beyond the individual involved.
We acknowledge the fact that some students and families have looked for additional details to be shared by the school district on this situation, but out of respect for the family of the individual involved, the school district has no other information to share.
Today’s incident that resulted in a lockdown at West was a ‘swatting’ hoax in which someone makes a prank call to law enforcement claiming an emergency and provides a school address for someone to respond. Several schools in the region received similar calls providing identical details. It is believed this is part of a nationwide swatting movement occurring in multiple states, which has been confirmed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
School students and staff responded exceptionally well today, implementing procedures that are practiced and reviewed on a regular basis. Even though the threat was specific to West, Mankato Public Safety requested that all MAPS schools use our soft lockdown procedures to ensure that students were under the direct supervision of staff in a secure location.
The disruption and unease that these situations cause is significant, and the fact that they have occurred on two consecutive days causes even more concern. We understand that people may be unsettled, and we are committed to providing the resources to students and staff to help each other through these difficult times. We continue to have support staff in place to work with any students or staff who may be struggling or have questions. Please contact your school if you know of students who may find additional support helpful.