Chimacum schools go on temporary lockdown

Kirk Boxleitner kboxleitner@ptleader.com
Posted 6/6/17

The Chimacum elementary, middle and high school campus went on lockdown for approximately 10 minutes on Tuesday, May 30, after a former middle school student, who had been barred from the campus, …

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Chimacum schools go on temporary lockdown

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The Chimacum elementary, middle and high school campus went on lockdown for approximately 10 minutes on Tuesday, May 30, after a former middle school student, who had been barred from the campus, returned with a knife.

The 14-year-old youth, who was not named, was apprehended by Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies on the sidewalk outside the school, according to Chimacum Superintendent Rick Thompson.

Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Haas said the youth has been charged in the Juvenile Division of the Jefferson County Superior Court with four counts of assault in the second degree, possession of marijuana by a person under 21 years of age, and unlawful carrying or handling of a weapon capable of producing harm.

“The assaults are Class B felonies, the marijuana charge is a misdemeanor, and the weapons charge is a gross misdemeanor,” said Haas.

The youth is to appear in court at 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 14.

PREVIOUS DISCIPLINE

Thompson said that the former student had been at Echo Glen Children’s Center in Snoqualmie, a medium- to maximum-security juvenile rehabilitation institution, before being officially released.

“He was there having been adjudicated,” Thompson said of another incident at Chimacum schools last year.

“He was disciplined last year as a student, and had trouble with the law. Last year involved deputies.”

Thompson credited the father of the former student with leaving messages with the Chimacum School District, to let it know the student had been released Memorial Day weekend.

“He had re-entered the Madrona School [on Bainbridge Island],” Thompson said. “This student does not and was not to attend our school, and is not to be on our campus in any way.”

Thompson said that school staff noticed the former student on campus, but outside the middle school building, and called 911 immediately at about 1:15 p.m.

Thompson praised both the school staff and the sheriff’s deputies for their prompt responses on the scene.

“The former student did, unfortunately, brandish a knife while making threats,” said Thompson, who added that the middle school principal, David Carthum, and the student’s father were there to counsel the student, alongside three deputies. “He showed [the knife] to me, Mr. Carthum and his dad. He used slang at the time, but was not slinging the knife around. He was arrested without incident.”

Thompson described the former student as “visibly upset,” but the superintendent credited deputies with taking “immediate control” of the situation, and arresting the former student without a fight or any injuries.

“He consented to be arrested, and was placed in one of the deputies’ vehicles,” Thompson said. “His father was very responsible and helpful throughout this process, and the principal responded perfectly. Everyone reacted appropriately to the former student.”

The Chimacum campus was on lockdown from 1:15 to approximately 1:25 p.m., and the district posted a notice of the lockdown on its website.

The former student was placed in the Kitsap County Juvenile Detention Center, and the case has been turned over to the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

“I believe he will be charged,” Thompson said.

Thompson said he expects to engage in much more communication with the community about this issue throughout the week and beyond.

The superintendent likewise pledged that the district would continue to investigate the matter, and inform parents of its findings along the way.

“This student will receive school discipline as appropriate,” said Thompson, who noted that the former student’s family received a discipline notice May 31, along with a no-trespass notice.

“We disciplined him as a precaution to all on our main campus,” Thompson said. “His educational oversight may need to be provided by us, or may not, depending on his incarceration status. His enrollment status has been and is likely to be more complicated due to legal matters.”

Thompson also sees the school district as benefiting from the practice lockdown drills that it’s conducted on what he deemed a regular basis.

“I believe the drills always help,” Thompson said. “We do all sorts of drills, and we have done for some time. Not just school lockdowns, but earthquake and fire responses as well. Most schools are moving toward securing in place for incidents such as these. We take all issues of student and staff safety very seriously.”

Those with questions are encouraged to call Thompson at 360-302-5896.

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