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Chillicothe News - Chillicothe, MO
  • SW R-1: Not under lockdown yesterday

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  • Southwest Livingston County R-1 (Ludlow) administrators are reporting that their school was not under lock down, but did receive a visit from the Livingston County Sheriff's office and Missouri State Highway Patrol yesterday (Wednesday, Dec. 19), at around 9:45 a.m., as said officers gathered "statements and information relating to a personnel's family."
    "They've actually been here most of the day," said Southwest Superintendent Cinthia Barnes, of the officers, during talks with the C-T on Wednesday afternoon.
    "We are not under lock down," she said.
    A message was sent out to R-1 parents via their SchoolReach system, on Wednesday, informing them of the situation, in an effort to "reassure all...families that our children and staff are safe."
    "There have been no threats to students or staff and we want to emphasize that everyone here is safe and we are not under lock down," the message, cited from Barnes, herself, reads. "In light of recent national events, no chances are being taken with respect to our students and staff's safety. We have been partnering with the Livingston County Sheriff's Office to increase security of our facility."
    The message did point out that in an "unrelated incident," a firearm had been discovered during a vehicle search on the school grounds, and that said firearm had been confiscated. A press release from the Livingston County Sheriff's office on Wednesday afternoon confirmed this fact.
    "[A] deputy observed a .22 caliber rifle in a vehicle which was parked on school property," it said. "The firearm was unloaded but there were a few .22 shells in the vehicle. The student allegedly responsible for having the firearm on school property was not involved in the threat as described...The investigation shows that student has no disciplinary issues, is a nice kid, and made an honest mistake after hunting and [left] the firearm in the vehicle. School officials are taking administrative action and our conversations with the prosecuting attorney show no criminal prosecution will take place."
    "While unrelated and not a threat, we need to remind all students and patrons that Southwest Livingston Co. R-1 is a firearm free zone and we must enforce our policies regarding weapons," R-1 said. "We are continuing to partner with law enforcement agencies to ensure everyone's safety and we have been assured they will continue to maintain a presence at our school."
    The Sheriff's department also noted that the call they received from Southwest was "regarding a concern of a threat previously made to a staff member."
    "After conducting our investigation, there's no reason to believe there is any imminent threat," said Livingston County Sheriff Steve Cox.
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