Activities at Silver Creek High School, Wood River High School and the Community Campus in Hailey were back to normal Thursday, following a 40-minute emergency procedure that froze entry into the buildings on Wednesday afternoon.
The move was “strictly precautionary,” according to District Communications Director Heather Crocker, and there was “no immediate threat” to students. The order was issued to keep the ex-spouse of a Silver Creek staffer from entering the building, according to Hailey Police Department Assistant Chief Steve England. England also confirmed that students were not in danger.
In response, Silver Creek Principal Mike Glenn made the call to initiate a “lockout” just past 3 p.m., bringing students inside the building and securing all exterior doors, England said.
But, a bulletin from the School District jumbled terms, substituting “lockout”—during which students can move freely inside the school—for “lockdown,” a heightened response reserved for more significant threats. In a lockdown, students stay put in their classrooms, quiet and out-of-sight, until the order is lifted—a protocol for when a suspect is already inside the building.
So, no one entered and no one left the three buildings for the better part of an hour. Most of the students had left Wood River by the time the order came in, though staff and extracurricular activities continued behind locked doors Wednesday afternoon. Silver Creek students were still in class and stayed there until law enforcement deemed the situation secure.
Meanwhile, Hailey, the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office and Wood River Fire and Rescue responded in force to the lockdown call, according to England.
“That’s why we sent in the cavalry,” he said. “There was never any real threat. I think in the day and age we’re in, people are just a little jumpy.”
First responders quickly realized they were dealing with a lockout, not a lockdown, and cleared the campus.
All of Wednesday’s evening events, including a scholarship fair at the Community Campus, went on as planned, according to Crocker.
“It’s back to business as usual,” she said. “There’s always room for improvement. But the important thing is that resources were sent to the place there needed to be sent.”