POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School and the Mason County Career Center were placed on lockdown Thursday after a student at PPJ/SHS reportedly received an alleged threat.
Superintendent Jack Cullen said on Wednesday evening he was made aware of a student at PPJ/SHS reportedly receiving a threat which was alleged to have come from another juvenile who is not a student of Mason County Schools. After contacting law enforcement, talking with administrators and feeling secure about safety measures already in place, as well as the presence of additional officers at the school on Thursday, Cullen said he felt secure in not canceling classes. If he didn’t feel confident about the security of staff and students Cullen stressed he wouldn’t have hesitated to cancel school Thursday at the two buildings.
Cullen said on Thursday morning, a lockdown drill took place at both PPJ/SHS and the career center, with doors being doubled checked and no one entering through any door but the front entrances. Front doors are always locked during school hours and anyone entering into the buildings must be screened and let inside by staff.
More law enforcement officers were also at the school Thursday morning which went by without an incident. The school only went into lockdown mode Thursday afternoon when another threat was allegedly made, according to law enforcement and Cullen.
Also Thursday afternoon, the Mason County Sheriff’s Department reported it has identified a potential, juvenile suspect in this case and had made contact with that person. The Mason County Sheriff’s Department is reportedly working with law enforcement officials in Gallia County, Ohio on this investigation.
The lockdown was lifted later Thursday afternoon and school dismissed without any issue. Students will be out of class on Good Friday and all next week for Easter break.
Cullen said Mason County Schools has to take any reported threat seriously and he is working with law enforcement and the Mason County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office regarding this incident. As of Thursday afternoon, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s department said this case remains under investigation. The nature of the alleged threats was not known.
Editor’s note: Ohio Valley Publishing does not report the names of juveniles involved in potential criminal cases.
Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.