School threat investigation continues

·2 min read
Oak Ridge High School is currently on Level 3 lockdown. This photos was taken before lunchtime on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021.
Oak Ridge High School is currently on Level 3 lockdown. This photos was taken before lunchtime on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021.

The Oak Ridge Police Department continues to follow leads into an investigation of an alleged shooting threat at Oak Ridge High School, according a city spokesperson.

Contacted Tuesday morning and presented with several questions, city of Oak Ridge senior communications specialist Lauren Gray said officers continue to follow leads as they come in. Her response came one day after ORHS was locked down for what officials described as a shooting threat made on social media.

The police presence at ORHS was increased Tuesday for safety.

The Level 3 lockdown Monday at ORHS reportedly occurred after students alerted ORHS administrators about a shooting threat posted to social media, according to a letter sent out late Monday afternoon to parents and guardians on behalf of the school system.

"We were made aware of a threat made on social media this morning. After learning of this threat, we immediately placed ORHS on a Level 3 lockdown and contacted the Oak Ridge Police Department (ORPD). The ORPD will 'continue to investigate and keep students safe' during this situation," the letter from Oak Ridge Schools stated.

"Safety is our top priority so, based on many factors, we chose to stay in a level three lockdown out of an abundance of caution today. I want to thank our students who came forward and notified the ORHS administration immediately after seeing this social media post. Finally, we thank our parents for their patience as we dealt with this issue. The ORPD will have an increased presence on campus tomorrow (Tuesday) to ensure that our campus is safe and provides a culture of learning for our students," the letter concluded.

In response to a question posed Monday, Gray said police took no one into custody Monday.

Oak Ridge police were present at Oak Ridge High School as students entered the building, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. The school was on a Level 3 lockdown Monday because of a school threat.
Oak Ridge police were present at Oak Ridge High School as students entered the building, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. The school was on a Level 3 lockdown Monday because of a school threat.

Students were released from school at their normal end-of-day time on Monday. Officers took necessary precautions to continue to investigate and keep students safe during dismissal, according to a city of Oak Ridge news release.

While passing by the area after 2 p.m. Monday, a reporter could see an Oak Ridge police officer standing nearby while students exited the Secret City Academy next to the high school and got aboard their bus. Two Oak Ridge police cars blocked the entrance to the main turnaround at the front of ORHS. A photographer took photos Tuesday morning of Oak Ridge police cars outside the school's main entrance.

The Level 3 lockdown began mid-morning on Monday. An earlier ORPD news release explained: "Level 3 lockdown is a call for increased security when a situation inside or outside the building may have an impact on school. Students return to classrooms. All outside doors and classroom doors are locked and no one is permitted to enter or exit the building."

News editor Donna Smith can be contacted at (865) 220-5514 or by email at dsmith@oakridger.com. Follow her on Twitter @ridgernewsed.

This article originally appeared on Oakridger: School threat investigation continues

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