Several central Kenai Peninsula schools implemented “stay put mode” measures Wednesday after Kalifornsky Beach Elementary and Skyview Middle School received threatening automated voice messages.
Law enforcement found the threats to be not credible.
The calls were received just after 1 p.m., and the school district responded immediately, said Kenai Peninsula Borough School District spokesperson Pegge Erkeneff. Local law enforcement conducted safety checks in all of the schools, she said.
Wednesday’s precautionary measures were not a full lockdown, Erkeneff said. Exterior doors were locked and all students were required to either enter or stay inside school district buildings, Erkeneff said. Class instruction continued as normal.
In a lockdown, buildings will go into a complete emergency response and implement A.L.I.C.E. protocol, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate, Erkeneff said. In a lockdown situation, all interior doors are barricaded and classroom instruction is paused.
Schools in Nikiski, Soldotna, Sterling, Kasilof and Kenai were under “stay put mode” for less than one hour, Erkeneff said.
The incident is similar to other recent threatening calls received by schools around the state. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating, Erkeneff said.
Staci Feger-Pellessier with the FBI Anchorage division said she couldn’t release many specifics about the active investigation.
“Many of the calls are similar in that they are coming in computer generated or with some sort of automated voice,” Feger-Pellesier said.
Regardless of the frequency of the threats, every school district should follow procedure every time a call is received, she said.
“It is our job to prevent and deter what is happening and make sure the calls stop, but we need to make sure people are vigilant and treating each of those threats seriously,” Feger-Pellesier said. “That’s what we do and that’s what law enforcement around the state is doing.”
Reach Kelly Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.