Waukee schools respond to criticism

The district speaks out after students, parents find flaw in safety protocol

By Kattey Ortiz | kortiz@weareiowa.com

Published 09/03 2015 10:26PM

Updated 09/03 2015 10:26PM

WAUKEE - After a parent and student told Local 5 Wednesday they thought the safety protocols following two separate bomb threats at two Waukee schools were inefficient, the district responded to the criticism.

The student told Local 5 students were taken to the same "safe place" upon evacuation on Wednesday as the one they were led to on Monday. Both students and parents worried whoever was behind the bomb threats could be watching, knowing exactly where they were during the sweep each time.

Superintendent David Wilkerson wouldn't go into the protocols for safety reasons, but said, "We learn from them each time we have to implement one of them. We've learned some things from this incident, we'll make improvements from how we handled situations going forward."

When asked if it was possible for anyone behind the bomb threats to be following the safety procedures to use to their advantage, Wilkerson said he did not want to speculate.

"All I can tell you is we believe we have processes in place, they get revised, and protocols and steps we've taken are safe and our students are safe," he said.

Wilkerson added the incident was a good opportunity for parents to talk to their kids about the effects of using social media and spreading rumors, though he said neither played a role in the bomb threats. In an email the district sent out to parents after their interview with Local 5, they wrote, "We recognize that situations like this raise questions. We ask that all members of the school community respond and interact appropriately in person and on social media. As parents, please also spend time talking with your children about rumors and the ill effects of spreading information without facts. If students feel they need additional support, staff and counselors are available to assist them."

A quick Twiitter showed at least one video posted of students gathering inside Waukee High School gymnasium on Wednesday.

Crimestoppers is offering a $1,000 for any tips leading to an arrest. Extra police presence will be on site for the time being.


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