Good evening CVSD families,
I wanted to provide this update to you on the “swatting” hoax call incident this morning regarding Central Valley High School, causing a lockdown situation for approximately 20 minutes.
Our first and foremost concern was the safety of our students and staff. We are incredibly thankful for the swift action of our Sheriff and law enforcement partners, responding within mere minutes. As you know, we have a School Resource Deputy located directly in our school, and the Deputy and our Campus Resource Officer were instrumental in helping to keep the school safe while in lockdown and assisting with arriving aid from multiple local and federal agencies.
As a parent myself, I understand firsthand how these types of situations create fear and anxiety in our students and staff and raise heightened levels of alarm in our families. Law enforcement not only quickly responded to the scene, but also swiftly determined that this was a hoax, as there were also similar calls to several districts throughout eastern Washington. They determined that at no time were the students or staff at the school in danger.
Out of an abundance of caution, law enforcement had extra presence around our schools across the district to ensure safety and be ready should there be any other hoaxes initiated.
WHAT IS SWATTING?
Swatting is defined as a false report of an ongoing emergency or threat of violence intended to prompt an immediate tactical law enforcement response. Swatting is not a new threat; it has evolved over the last decade or so and includes a range of tactics and techniques used to cause false public alarm and divert law enforcement resources to a hoax threat. Calls often originate from or are routed through another country. Swatting calls have been reported recently in multiple districts across the state as well as in numerous other states.
Hoaxes like these can cause trauma to our community and potentially prevent first responders from responding to real emergencies.
We continue to encourage our students and school community to report anything that could possibly constitute a threat to school safety. Law enforcement and school officials take any and all threats very seriously.
Please be rest assured that we are doing everything possible to keep your children safe while they are in our care. We are very proud of the actions of our staff, students and parents in following safety plans and protocols.
Thank you for your trust and support as we navigate these difficult and trying threats made to our community.
Superintendent John Parker