By News-Register staff • 

Police respond to Grandhaven shooter threat; students fine

McMinnville police responded about 1:40 p.m. Wednesday to Grandhaven Elementary School after an adult female called the school and threatened to shoot students.

"She said she was going to kill lots of kids," Capt. Tim Symons said. "She said she was at the school, but didn't give a location."

Police locked down the school located at 3200 N.E. McDonald Lane. Streets in the surrounding area were closed while police investigated.

The roof and interior of the school were checked by officers, and nothing suspicious was located.

"With a call like this, our major concern is the safety of students, staff and the surrounding area," Symons said. "We took all of those things into consideration. We appreciated the public's understanding that allowed us to do what we needed to do."

As part of the investigation, Symons said McMinnville police are working to have the call traced, in hopes of identifying a suspect.

Grandhaven has about 600 students and about 50 staff members in the K-5 school.

McMinnville Superintendent Maryalice Russell said students remained in their classrooms and continued their studies while police searched the school. A jog-a-thon continued in the gym, which also was locked to outsiders.

After police searched the school, students were released two classrooms at a time. Everyone exited through the main entrance.

Russell said she expects school to go on as normal Thursday.

The school district was pleased with the response it received from the police, Russell said. The district and local law enforcement agencies have gone through joint planning exercises.

"That all paid off," she said.


The school district sent a recorded  message to the phones of  all Grandhaven parents during this afternoon:

"This is Principal Margie Johnson. The school had a lock out today due to a phone threat. We take the safety and well-being of our school seriously. Police came and investigated the matter. School will start at the regular time on Thursday. Parents will drop students off at the main door and will not be allowed to walk students to classrooms in order to minimize congestion and allow for a smooth start of the school day. Morning recess will be held in the gym. Thank you in advance for your cooperation."


The school district sent the following letter home with Grandhaven students as they left the building today:

"Dear Grandhaven parents,

"This afternoon, at approximately 1:45 p.m., a phone threat was made to the Grandhaven campus. School staff responded by initiating a lock in, meaning students attended their regular classes and did not go outside. Police were called, checked the building and were present during school dismissal. We expect to have a regular school day tomorrow. When phone theats or threats of any kind are made, we take the matter seriously in an effort to keep our students safe,

"Thank you for your assistance in keeping schools safe and your support of students of Grandhaven.


"Margie Johnson, principal."



See Friday's print edition for additional details.



I find it interesting that former Sheriff Jack Crabtree in the newly created position of School Safety Manager hasn't contributed to this article.

Web Design and Web Development by Buildable