La PINE, Ore. - (Update: More details of what led to lockout)
An anonymous tip of a possible safety threat led to a precautionary lockout at schools in La Pine Monday morning that was lifted nearly two hours later, authorities said.
Deschutes County sheriff's Sgt. William Bailey confirmed the precautionary lockout had been lifted by about 12:30 p.m.
At 10:40 a.m., he said, Deschutes County 911 received information from the Safe Oregon school safety tip line (http://safeoregon.com/) that they had received an anonymous tip from a student of a possible threat to the safety of students at La Pine High School.
A precautionary lockout was immediately implemented at the school while law enforcement investigated the threat and worked to locate the juvenile who had been identified Because La Pine High School shares a campus with La Pine middle and elementary schools, those schools were also placed on a precautionary lockout.
"Law enforcement has since made contact with the juvenile and determined there is no credible threat to the students of La Pine High School," Bailey said.
He said one of the reasons authorities determined the tip was unfounded was because the teen in question was not even in the area where the incident was supposed to take place.
"In this case, the named student was actually in Bend, and we were able to locate him there with the assistance of the Bend Police Department,” Bailey told NewsChannel 21.
Bailey said even though this tip turned out to be false, anonymous tips are very helpful to the department, and they don’t want to discourage anyone from sharing information.
The Safe Oregon tip line is one of the tools included in a suite of Tip and Talk resources, called First Step, that the district pushed out to all iPads issued to students in grades 6-12 in December. Elementary families can access the resources at www.firststeporegon.org on their mobile device or computer.
A school lockout, where exterior doors are locked but students can move between classes, is a less restrictive condition than a school lockdown, in which all interior and exterior doors are locked and students are kept in place in the classes they were in.