Parents and guardians of Nichols Middle School students received email notifications Wednesday afternoon that the school, located at 800 Greenleaf St., had moved to a “Secure and Teach,” or lockdown. smooth, after a threat was found in a women’s restroom.
The email message, from Principal Marcus Wright, said officers were in the school building to investigate. The threatening message, written in a bathroom, “was not directed at any specific individual, but indicated the possibility of violence tomorrow, January 20th,” Wright said.
Wright said that “a threat assessment is underway” and added that staff and families will be notified when more information becomes available from the Police Department.
Below is the text of Wright’s email (a few words in bold as in the original):
Dear Nichols Community –
A short time ago, we learned of a threatening message written on one of the girls’ restroom stalls that indicated a threat to harm the Nichols Middle School community. The threat was not directed at any specific individual, but indicated the possibility of violence tomorrow, January 20th. The note was found by one of our educators who immediately alerted school administrators. I contacted district administrators for support and also alerted the Evanston Police Department.
We have made the decision to enact a “Secure and Teach” (or soft lock) until the end of the school day and students will be discharged at the regularly scheduled time.. This means that no one will be able to enter and leave the school. This is very cautious as an investigation and threat assessment are ongoing. Several officers from the police department are currently in the building as part of the investigation.
We take situations like this extremely seriously and are fully cooperating with local authorities in this ongoing investigation. We will have an increased police presence during today’s dismissal. In addition, we have alerted our Critical Incidents Team to provide support to students and staff as needed. There are currently no security-related threats in any of our other buildings.
We fully recognize the fear and anxiety this situation will inevitably cause in our community. However, we felt it was important to be abundantly transparent. Nothing is more important than the safety of our students and staff.
As soon as we have more information from the Evanston Police Department, we will communicate with our staff and family members. Thank you for your understanding and support.