Incident presented “no credible threat,” say officials; no weapons on campus
The report of a truck into the parking lot in front of East Greenwich High School late morning Thursday, bearing a flag featuring a gun and an occupant yelling, “Don’t take my gun,” prompted school officials to issue a lockdown at the school.
According to Principal Ken Hopkins, however, further investigation showed “there are no indications that a verbal threat was made to East Greenwich High School.”
There were some students – seniors – outside at the time, enjoying Field Day, an event of Senior Week where yearbooks are distributed and lunch is provided. A truck appeared and the report that got back to Hopkins signaled the lockdown.
“Upon hearing this information, I immediately called for a school-wide lockdown,” Hopkins said in the email. “Officer Rafferty, our school resource officer, immediately went to assess, and police were called to campus.”
Hopkins added, “Upon preliminary investigation, it was determined that there was no credible threat. Classes were able to resume without incident. We’ve been assured by members of the EG Police Department, that at no time were any weapons present on school property. Normal school operations have fully resumed. The matter is currently under further investigation.
“Based upon the circumstances and students entering or exiting campus for Senior activities, I viewed it essential to call for a lockdown to properly assess the situation. It is critical in situations such as these to act out of an abundance of caution…. The safety of our students and staff is our foremost priority.”
Supt. Alexis Meyer declined to comment about the identity of those involved but did say that SRO Chris Rafferty, in speaking with the driver, was able to determine there was no credible threat.
Meyer said Hopkins did exactly what he needed to do. She said the district reviews safety protocols regularly and has to present a detailed report to the state Department of Education every three years.
In an interview Thursday afternoon, Hopkins expressed concerns about rumors circulating about the incident and said, “I’m comfortable with our actions as a school and I’m comfortable with the events we have coming up. There is no safety threat that was made relative to the situation.”