Stamford Advocate

City school placed on lockdown following school shooting threat

Police found there was ‘no credible threat’ at Cloonan Middle School, officials say

- By Pat Tomlinson

STAMFORD — A city middle school was placed on lockdown Friday afternoon after two students discovered a message threatenin­g a school shooting, the school’s principal said in an email to parents.

Cloonan Middle School principal David M. Tate wrote in the email that two students found “a specific threat of a school shooting written on a table in the courtyard” during a classroom mask break Friday morning.

Tate said the two students alerted their teacher who then relayed the message to school administra­tors leading to a lockdown.

“Whenever we have informatio­n of any potential threat to our school we take every precaution to safeguard our students and staff while communicat­ing with our families and others,” Tate wrote in the email.

Tate said Stamford police had a “swift response” to the reported incident, quickly arriving on school premises to investigat­e and secure the grounds.

Police found that there was “no credible threat” to the school “at this time,” according to a school district spokespers­on.

While police determined

“Whenever we have informatio­n of any potential threat to our school, we take every precaution to safeguard our students and staff while communicat­ing with our families and others.”

David M. Tate, Cloonan Middle School principal

there was no threat Friday, officers remained on the premises throughout the remainder of the day, the spokespers­on said.

In the wake of the incident, Tate commended the students and staff “for their prompt and appropriat­e response” to the message.

“We are especially indebted to the two students who found the note and alerted their teacher as well as her immediate response to the informatio­n,” he said in the email.

Police did not immediatel­y respond to requests for comment on the incident. There have been no reported arrests as of 4 p.m. Friday.

When such threats or incidents arise, Tate said the first step is to order a lockdown, a shelter-in-place command or an evacuation of the school, depending on the situation.

Next, Tate said, the school notifies first responders and citywide school administra­tors, like associate superinten­dents and the superinten­dent, of the incident.

Lastly, the school principal alerts families to the school’s status, then sends updates to student families to either inform them that the situation has been resolved or to provide them with “explicit” instructio­ns “as to where and when to pick up your child if that is necessary,” Tate wrote in the email.

“This allows us to minimize any interferen­ce with First Responders as they attend to the situation,” Tate wrote in the email.

“Hopefully these incidents will be few and far between. Still we can never be too prepared for emergencie­s. This is why we run monthly safety drills and special emergency drills so that we can be prepared for the unthinkabl­e,” he said.

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