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Central Oregon

Culver schools lift 2-day lockout sparked by threats

(Update: Lockout lifted in second day; student still in custody)

The Culver School District lifted its 2-day precautionary lockout Thursday morning that resulted from a middle school student allegedly making verbal threats against other students earlier in the week.

“The team of agencies who has been assessing risk and implementing safety measures for all students in our district has concluded that there is no threat of harm,” Superintendent Stefanie Garber said in a new letter to parents.

The lockout, which locks the exterior doors to all schools, was lifted at 10:35 a.m.

“The student who made the threat will remain in the custody of authorities,” Garber said, expressing gratitude “for everyone’s patience and cooperation” and the help of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and county agencies.

“Our students, staff and community have been fantastic,” she wrote. “Thank you for your support.”

School staff received a report Tuesday afternoon of the middle school student making threats against other students, Garber said in the first of two letters sent home Wednesday.

“It is our hope that by reaching out to our school community we can expedite the investigation and help control rumors about the situation,” Garber wrote.

“This type of behavior is not indicative of our culture or students. We have no reason to believe that our school is anything but safe for all students today,” she added.

“We understand that in informing our community of this threat, we run the risk of giving the student who made the threat the attention they seek or other students copying this behavior,” Garber added. “However, we felt it was important to communicate with our parents about this situation this morning.”

During a lockout, exterior doors remain locked but “it is business as usual inside” the schools, the superintendent said.

In a follow-up letter to parents sent later Wednesday, Garber said the threat’s validity was investigated by a team that included the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies.

“Safety is a priority at Culver schools,” Garber wrote. “If at any time you or a student see or hear of concerning activity, we encourage you to contact the main office or use the SafeOregon tip line to share information.”

Sheriff Jim Adkins told NewsChannel 21 deputies and detectives were investigating a female student for possible verbal threats to other students. He said they were working with school officials and the district attorney “to determine what the actual threat is and what laws may have been violated.”

Extra patrols have been assigned to the schools in Culver, “just to be on the safe side,” Adkins added.

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