The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

Rumors Lead to Stay-Put

Police searched the building Tuesday after students exchanged messages claiming there was an intruder
Mae Nagusky
Two police cars parked outside of the high school front entrance in November 2019. File Photo.

The high school was placed in a stay-put during Crew at 11:40 a.m. Tuesday due to rumors that an intruder was in the building.

According to Principal Eric Juli, administrators searched the building alongside the Shaker Heights Police Department, and did not find anyone who was not permitted to be in the building. “We searched every area of the building — every classroom, every nook and cranny, which is why it took a little while,” Juli said in an interview.

 “To be clear, no one actually saw anyone in the building who wasn’t supposed to be here,” Juli said. Students spread rumors claiming that there was an intruder in the building — possibly with a weapon — via text messages. 

“There’s a gun in the building and there are swat teams coming into the building with rifles,” one student wrote. “Some kids scrapped outside of school yesterday and one brought a gun today,” another student claimed. 

“We searched the building and no one was here, with or without a weapon. No one was in the building,” Juli said. 

The district initially told families that the high school was in the stay-put “following a physical altercation between students,” they wrote in a statement at the beginning of the incident. 

According to Juli, the fight had already been broken up when he put the building into a stay-put. “I put us into the stay-put because of the rumors that there was somebody in the building, not because of the fight,” Juli said. 

The building was in a stay-put, not a lockdown, meaning instruction could continue with the doors locked. According to, a lockdown requires there to be an “identified threat” in the building, and students would be instructed to “stay quiet and out of sight within the classroom.”

SHPD Commander John Cole could not immediately be reached for comment. “The matter is still under investigation,” an SHPD dispatcher said in a 1:40 p.m. phone call. 

Juli lifted the stay-put at 1 p.m, dismissing students assigned to lunch blocks A or B to the cafeteria. Students assigned to C lunch went to their fourth period class. Juli said that he had to combine the first two lunch periods because state law requires the school to serve lunch before 2 p.m.

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

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