GALLIA COUNTY — Phones across Gallia County and social media websites like Facebook were on fire for a short time Monday as word spread that Gallia County Local Schools were on lock-down.
According to Gallia County Local Schools Superintendent Dr. Charla Evans, the lock-down was strictly preventive in nature and stemmed from an incident at a Gallipolis City School District facility.
“A secretary received a call and was told of a situation that was said to have occurred at Gallia Academy Middle School (GAMS), and we notified every [county school] building and put them on lock-down until further notice,” explained Evans.
She said that in the meantime, she spoke to officials at the Gallipolis City School District to determine the nature of the incident, and after learning that there was no threat, the lock-down was lifted. Evans said it was a very short-lived situation, with the lock-down only lasting approximately 10-15 minutes.
Gallipolis City School District Communications Director James Craft said that the incident in question was relatively benign. At some point during the school day on Monday, a person or persons entered the GAMS office and requested to sign a student or students out but did not have the credentials or appropriate paperwork to be permitted to do that.
Evans said that lock-downs and other security-related functions and responses are part of a district-wide Crisis Management Plan that was developed specifically to outline the appropriate response to a variety of hypothetical scenarios. Although a lock-down may seem to some to be an aggressive response in a case such as Monday’s incident, it was all done in the name of student safety county-wide.
“In hindsight, there was never a threat to any student at any time,” said Evans, “but we would always rather err on the side of caution.”