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Falcon Feather

Rural Responds to Safety Concerns

Students and staff weigh into recent threats
At WRMS the staff takes precautions with security, to stay safe from threats
(Gentry Coons)

On October 2nd, rumblings on social media suggested a student was plotting to bring a firearm to Washburn Rural High School later that week, on October 4th. The police were involved and shut it down quickly, but took precautions on the 4th, by having extra security on the high school and middle school grounds. Unfortunately, this is not the only threat that occurred this year. In September, at Washburn Rural Middle School, two 7th graders claimed they had a bomb. While this was later found to be a prank, the situation was quickly terminated by law enforcement and consequences were dealt. 


Due to the severity of these events, there are now rising questions. Do students feel safe at school? 8th grader, Anna Fowler said, “I feel pretty safe at school, just because of all the protocols and drills that we do.” Some students, including Fowler, were also worried for the safety of their parents, who work in the district. “I think we were a little worried, but we just prayed and hoped for the best,”  Fowler said.


On the other hand, 7th grader, Oliver Haberman, did not come to school that day due to all the confusion. “I was mostly just nervous and I didn’t want to go to school.”   


Although not all students feel safe, WRMS staff and administrators work hard to keep students safe. 8th grade principal, Mr. Dial, was being informed as the situation unraveled on October 2nd,  “I would say once Dr. Stoltenberg was informed, he sent us a couple updates as he learned things. So, I would say I got one every couple hours, just getting ideas of what was occurring.” Dial also said, “Since we are such a close campus, the rumors kinda started to spread, it just started a lot of buzz, just secretaries being on the phone constantly.”


To take extra precaution, increased security was provided at the schools on October 4th. An important individual on the scene that day was the Washburn Rural Middle School SRO, Officer McCarter. McCarter takes pride in doing what he can to keep students safe. “I wanted to make sure that students could tell that I was acting as I normally do, to ensure that they could see my calmness, and would hopefully stay calm.” McCarter added, “On a side note, I hope that staff and students here know that I will do anything and everything I can to make sure y’all go home safe. To include putting my life in danger.” 


If you ever hear of a threat, or feel unsafe at school, report information immediately to the WRMS security office at 785-339-4301.


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