A report of an armed man, possibly a hunter, set off a series of school security alerts Wednesday morning in Rathdrum.
The Lakeland School District sent parents and staff a message just before 9 a.m. saying an armed man had been spotted on the railroad tracks at Washington and Main streets, which is near John Brown Elementary School.
In response, the district ordered lockdowns at John Brown and Betty Kiefer elementary schools, Lakeland Junior High School, Lakeland and Mountain View high schools, and district offices.
A few minutes later, the district said it had updated information and that the armed man was spotted at U.S. Highway 95 and State Route 53, not near John Brown school, and that law enforcement had apprehended the subject. The school lockdowns were lifted.
At 9:43 a.m., a third message said police had notified the district that the armed man had not been apprehended and that they recommended putting Garwood Elementary School in a “lockout,” which is an order to secure the school perimeter. It’s a lower level of response than a lockdown, which requires a school to lock all doors, turn out the lights and keep students and staff out of sight and quiet.
The final message came at 10:35 a.m., with police telling the district they believed no schools were under threat.
“They have combed the area and believe the person is gone,” Superintendent Becky Meyer wrote. “Law enforcement believes the person was most likely a hunter and there was never any threat to our schools. I am happy that we erred on the safe side and took precautionary measures.”
Meyer said it turned out to be “a great opportunity” to practice school safety protocols.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.