High School Proceeds as Normal After Phone Threat

Out-of-state call deemed non-credible


David Vahey

Front entrance to the high school. File photo.

The Shaker Heights Police Department determined that classes could continue today following a phone threat to the high school made from out of state. 

School and after-school activities are safe to proceed as usual, according to Principal Eric Juli. 

During the investigation, the determination was made that learning and teaching can continue during this time and dismissal and after-school activities are planned as normal,” the district stated in an email at 11:42 a.m.

The threat was called in by phone shortly after 10:30 a.m. according to Juli. He immediately notified the SHPD, which determined that the threat was not credible because it came from out of state. “We’ve been working with the police since this happened, and everybody feels that we’re safe and are comfortable to have a regular day,” Juli said.

Dr. David Glasner, superintendent, said he was also informed shortly thereafter. 

In an email sent to staff shortly after the school received the threat, Juli asked teachers to limit passes. “We were never in stay in place. We were just asking people to limit passes,” he said.

According to Juli, the threat did not meet a threshold that would require a lockdown, stay put or stay in place order. “The term lockdown is for active shooters. The term shelter in place or stay put has a much lower threshold,” Juli said. “I would make that decision with both the district and the police.”

High school administrators communicated about the incident via email, but did not make any announcements about it over the PA. Students in the building during Flex Block said that they did not know about the threat. 

History teacher Andrew Glasier said that he heard about it through a text message from another teacher before he saw the email from Juli. 

Executive Director of Communications and Public Relations Scott Stephens declined The Shakerite’s request for comment.

Juli said that he wanted to avoid causing unnecessary panic in wake of last night’s shooting at Michigan State. “I think that it’s really important that we didn’t meet any threshold because that could have caused nervousness,” he said. 

I’d say that is always a concern,” Glasner said.

The threat also comes five years to the date after the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, during which a gunman killed 14 students and three staff members.

It’s too easy to call in these threats now [so] I’ve become a little bit numb to it,” Glasier said. “Over the years we’ve had several of these kinds of threats, which are phoned in threats, that we have to take seriously because it’s this day and age.”

Last year, the high school was affected by a gun threat on June 3 and a bomb threat on Sept. 29. In 2016, a social media threat and a bomb threat were also made against the high school. In 2015, a gun threat sent many high school students home.

I think, unfortunately, these kinds of incidents are just becoming far too common, and it’s disappointing,” Glasner said. “We have protocols and practices and structures in place to make sure we’re prepared to respond to them, but we really want students to be able to focus on learning and teaching — that’s our goal — in a safe space.”

Said Juli, “I take keeping everyone safe here very seriously. If there was any sense that we’d be in danger, we’d be in a stay in place.”

The Shakerite will continue to cover this story as it develops.

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