WORTHINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) — For the first time since Wednesday, Worthington Kilbourne reopened its doors Monday after two threats were sent electronically last week, threatening the school and African American students.
An emergency executive session was held Friday evening and lasted about two hours. Following that, Superintendent Trent Bowers spoke with the media. At that time, there was no decision on when the school would reopen.
Over the weekend, police and faculty made sure the school was safe for students to return to. When Monday morning came around and there had been no new threats, the decision was made to open the school.
In an update sent out by the superintendent, new safety measures that students and guests had to follow were instituted:
- Students must enter and exit the building using the main entrance and exit in front of the building during the school day. No students are permitted to be inside the building before 8:00 AM. This allows our administration and safety monitors to conduct our morning assessment of the building.
- We are asking students who arrive late, return from lunch or appointments, etc., to use the Attendance Entrance and show their IDs. The IDs this year are digital and they can bring them up on their phones. We will have a QR code at the entrance to assist students to retrieve their IDs, as needed.
- Guests arriving to the building during the school day will be asked to notify our Student Services regarding the reason for their visit before being permitted to enter the office.
- We will conduct multiple perimeter checks of doors throughout the school day.
- Police Officers at our building will be placed strategically on our campus.
If students didn’t feel comfortable attending the first day back, it was counted as an excused absence. According to the update, 85% of students went to school on Monday.
Ebony Weinert has an African American student who attends WKHS. She was nervous to send her back but felt that the school would only reopen if it was safe to do so.
“I was nervous, but I spoke with other students’ parents who were African American, I actually have a friend/coworker whose son actually goes to the school too,” Weinert said. “They were sending their kids back, so it made me feel a little bit better, and then I dropped her off this morning and there was extra staff and a police officer on the premises, so it made me feel better. I’ve texted her throughout the day and she’s fine.”
On Friday, we learned that the emails were routed to Germany. However, there’s still no update on the origin of those emails.
The superintendent’s update ended by saying that the district is going to use this event to re-evaluate safety procedures at all schools to make sure it is a safe and welcoming environment for all that attend.