Unfounded gun threat at Port Townsend middle school generates talk from the principal
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Blue Heron Middle School Principal Diane Lashinsky addresses students Wednesday about the investigation of a gun threat, which turned out to be groundless. -- Photo by Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Police investigated a report of a gun threat at Blue Heron Middle School on Wednesday that turned out to be groundless, the school’s principal said.

“We did receive a report today that someone was heard talking about bringing a gun to school,” Diane Lashinsky said in an address to students during their lunch hour that congratulated students for reporting what they had heard and warned them against spreading rumors.

“The student who heard this reported to his parent, which is what he should have done and that’s good news, but the bad news is that someone was talking about bringing a gun to school,” she said.

“Reporting this to an adult is exactly what you need to do,” Lashinsky told the students.

“You should never assume that someone is kidding about this because it is something that you don’t want to kid about.”

Lashinsky said the school at 3939 San Juan Ave. in Port Townsend received a call from a parent and immediately called the Port Townsend Police Department, which sent officers to the campus for an investigation.

No details were provided about the student, who was identified and questioned before it was determined that no threat existed.

“The police did a great job talking to students and parents and not scaring anyone,” Lashinsky said in her address to the seventh- and eighth-grade classes.

“At this point, we don’t know whether there was a conversation but we do know there is no gun, and Blue Heron is a great place to go to school.”

Students applauded at this point. Lashinsky indicated she was not finished.

“The next action all of you can do is if you know the names or think you know the names of any of these students that were involved in the situation I just talked about, I want you squelch that information,” she said.

“I don’t want you to talk about it because we now know that it was all rumor and I don’t want anyone to be teased made fun of or bullied that hurt people’s feeling and keep rumors alive.

“What happened this morning is over.”

Lashinsky made the same talk to grades four through six and sent a message home to all parents about the incident.

Lashinsky said that a lockdown of the school was discussed but police said there was no reason to do so.

Police officers are talking to students thought to be involved and the investigation is continuing, according to Port Townsend Police Chief Conner Daily.

“We have to be diligent and make sure there was nothing there,” Daily said.

“We’d rather be cautious than put the kids in an unsafe situation, so we are talking to all of the kids involved.”

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 06. 2013 6:32PM
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