It’s usually Mother Nature who plays havoc with track season, but this morning it was something much more serious. What started as a great spring day to be going to the Sandy Creek Invitational Track Meet turned into a disappointing ride back home for the Huskies.
Sandy Creek Schools received possible threats of violence this morning and went into lockdown. The Heartland team was still en route to Sandy Creek when Heartland school administrators received this news. Here is the Heartland Community School Facebook post explaining what transpired.
At approximately 9:05 AM this morning, Heartland officials were made aware of a lockdown event, involving possible threats of violence at Sandy Creek Schools. At that time, our high school track team was on its way to Sandy Creek for a high school track meet scheduled to be held there today. We immediately contacted our bus and team personnel and had them stop in Clay Center before reaching Sandy Creek schools.
We informed them of the situation and instructed them to wait for further instructions. At approximately 9:25 AM the track team was directed to return to Heartland where they will remain for the rest of the day. At approximately 9:30 AM, Sandy Creek officials informed us that they believe they have ascertained the source of their threat and that they have lifted their lockdown restrictions.
Out of an abundance of caution and in deference to a variety of practical considerations, Heartland officials decided to continue to bring the track team back to the school for the remainder of the day and to not have our team attend today’s track meet at Sandy Creek.
High school track athletes returning to Heartland this morning will not be allowed to leave the school to return to their homes for the purpose of retrieving any school-related items. Parents, however, will be allowed to bring items to school if requested by their student.
Today, we also currently have a group of 8th grade students on a field trip. We have been in contact with this group and we do not currently believe there to be any reason for this group to return to Heartland prior to their scheduled return.
Today, we also currently have additional high school students attending a FBLA state leadership conference. We have been in contact with this group and we do not currently believe there to be any reason for this group to return to Heartland prior to their scheduled return.
We do not have any reason to believe that there are any threats to the safety of the students here at Heartland Community Schools. We are currently planning on conducting a regular day of school under our normal operating procedures and safety protocols.
The most current post (11 AM) on the Sandy Creek Facebook page says that State troopers were on the scene at the school where parents were picking up students. It seems that school has been dismissed and all other schools who had arrived for the track meet have left.
The Clay County Emergency Operations posted this on the Sandy Creek Facebook page:
An outside credible threat was made to a Sandy Creek student. 911 was called. The school went into immediate lockdown. The Clay county sheriff’s office and emergency management activated their Active Threat Response Plan and were on the scene at Sandy Creek immediately with Nebraska State Patrol and off-duty law enforcement activated as part of the Active Threat Response Plan.
The party responsible for the threat was taken into custody in Hastings and an ongoing investigation is ensuing.
The Active Threat Response Plan and the school lockdown were to ensure everyone’s safety.
Due to high emotions, Sandy Creek has postponed the scheduled track and golf meets they were hosting with future dates to be determined.
We want to take a moment to emphasize the extensive planning that has been done between the Clay County Emergency Management Team, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Nebraska State Patrol, and the SCNUSD #5 school district resulting in a swift response of all involved. Everyone involved followed the plan and are commended.
This is a very unfortunate incident but thankfully, the school administrators proceeded with caution, and everyone is safe! The Sandy Creek track meet has been rescheduled for this Thursday, April 6th with a 9 AM start time.