Upshur Schools officials: Social media post was ‘concerning enough’ that administrators wanted to ensure student wasn’t in building Sept. 8

BUCKHANNON – Upshur County Schools officials and Board of Education members spoke regarding the Sept. 8, 2022, incident at Buckhannon-Upshur High School that prompted a lockdown that day.

The incident began early that Thursday morning when a student reported a social media post that had allegedly been made the prior evening. According to a press release issued by Upshur County Schools, following the receipt of the report, school officials took immediate action by declaring a precautionary lockdown.

Before Tuesday’s Upshur County Board of Education meeting, Matthew Sisk, Upshur County Schools Director of Student Safety and Emergency Preparedness, told My Buckhannon that on that Thursday morning, Buckhannon-Upshur High School officials had received word from a student a report of a social media post made the previous night.

“That social media post was concerning enough that we wanted to make sure the person who made the post was not in the school,” Sisk said. “We had reason to believe they were not in the school, but we needed to make sure that they were not in the school.”

Sisk said that the person who made the social media post was a Buckhannon-Upshur High School student.

“We took all the steps and made sure that person was not in the school, before releasing the school from the precautionary lockdown,” Sisk said. “Fred Eberle Technical went on a precautionary lockdown as well when Director Rebecca Bowers-Call made sure all of the center’s doors were locked. They were on lockdown for about 10 minutes, but they were never under threat.”

On that Thursday evening, Upshur County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Harrison reported the suspect had been apprehended and was in the custody of the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office.

Sisk there is always room for improvement when these situations happen.

“Overall, the decision to go on lockdown was made for the safety of the students,” Sisk said. “You cannot ask for anything more than that.”

Dr. Tammy Samples, President of the Upshur County Board of Education, said she feels Sisk really knows his job.

“He did a good job of managing all of the entities and resolving it safely,” Samples said.

Harrison said Sisk did a wonderful job with the incident on Thursday.

“He is now working with law enforcement to incorporate them in with training,” Harrison said. “We have debriefed following the incident and on Wednesday, we plan to do more debriefing with the Buckhannon-Upshur High School administration.”

Harrison said all in all, she feels the situation was handled well.

“There are glitches and always ways to improve,” Harrison said. “But as a county, we came together to ensure the safety of our students and also our staff.”

The original story about the incident is available here.

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