TENNERTON — Local law enforcement agencies have apprehended a suspect who is believed to have made a post on social media that prompted a lockdown at Buckhannon-Upshur High School on Thursday.
At approximately 4:15 p.m., Upshur County Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Harrison confirmed the suspect had been found and was in custody.
“Law enforcement has the individual in custody and will continue the investigation,” Harrison said.
The incident began early Thursday morning when a student alerted high school administrators to a social media post that had been made the previous evening. Officials took immediate action by declaring a precautionary lockdown, according to a press release from the school system.
Harrison said the lockdown was related to a safety incident involving a firearm.
“We had a student report that another student had a gun,” Harrison told My Buckhannon as the event unfolded at about 10 a.m., adding that the school system worked with local law enforcement to check all the classrooms at the school.
Harrison said students at the Fred Eberle Technical Center were on temporary lockdown Thursday morning as well.
Buckhannon-Upshur High School lifted the lockdown at about 11 a.m. after law enforcement completed their search of the school. Harrison said that during the search, no one was found to have a weapon. All students and staff were reported safe.
“We did not find anybody with a gun,” Harrison confirmed in a phone interview at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday. “We have turned the investigation over to the local police.”
Matthew Sisk, Upshur County Schools Director of Student Safety and Emergency Preparedness, said extra security was put in place at the school.
“We are taking some extra safety precautions throughout the day,” Sisk said. “We are working with local law enforcement and being extra vigilant just to be sure — extra steps for student and staff safety.”
The decision to put B-UHS on lockdown was an easy one to make, Sisk said.
“We decided to do this for the safety of our students,” Sisk said. “We know some people will be upset, but you cannot worry about that — for our students, it is safety first.”
Harrison said schools in Upshur County will be in session on Friday, Sept. 9, as normal.
“We took all of the necessary safety precautions and school will be in session tomorrow,” Harrison said.
Harrison and Sisk credited local law enforcement for their response.
“The quick response and attention were a joint effort,” the press release from the school system said. “The Upshur County Sheriff’s Department, the Buckhannon City Police and the Upshur County Office of Emergency Management were all instrumental in providing expertise and guidance in managing the situation.”