By Grant McGee
The Staff of The News 

School threat leads to early release


Last updated 4/15/2023 at 11:09am

Grant McGee

Cars lined up around the Freshman Academy Thursday to pick up students released early after a threatening note was found on a bathroom stall.

A threatening note on a girls bathroom stall Thursday led to the early release of students from Clovis' Freshman Academy.

The note read "I will shoot up the school 4/13," according to a Clovis police report.

After the note was reported about 10:30 a.m., school officials initially placed students under a "secure and teach" protocol. That means instruction continued as usual, but exterior doors were secured and building access was limited.

About three hours later, school officials decided to release Freshman Academy students for the day, citing "the interest of enabling an ongoing investigation."

On Friday, Gattis and Yucca Middle Schools in Clovis received potential threats as well and briefly employed safety protocols in which teaching continued.

No violence was reported at any of the schools either day.

While no imminent danger was identified during any of the threats, a news release from Clovis Municipal Schools stated, "In situations where threats or information of concern are received, we will always err on the side of caution."

After the Freshman Academy incident was reported to police, officers interviewed three juvenile females about the writing in the bathroom. The police report showed a detective took photos of the writing and interviewed the three females "about what they knew." The detective compared the three females' writing on old paperwork and found no similarities between their handwriting and what was scrawled in the bathroom, the report shows.

Parents were notified they could pick up their children from the Freshman Academy about 1:45 p.m. Thursday.

Traffic on Cameo Street was backed up for about a quarter-mile to the north and south as well as on side streets in the vicinity of the Freshman Academy.

School officials did not provide an exact description of the threat to parents.

Students were released to their parents or designated guardians.

"It's taken me 45 minutes to move one block," parent Lawrence Johnson said as he sat in his pickup truck on Cameo.

"This is unrealistic," parent Elisa Sintas said of the traffic as she also sat on Cameo waiting to pull up in front of the school's main office. "I can't believe this is happening in our little old town."

CMS Superintendent Renee Russ did not respond to a request for an interview from The News.

Officials said the incidents remained under investigation on Friday.


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