Entire district locked down


Decatur High School students walk home after a day under a system-wide lockdown. Photo by Zidia Gibson

This story will be updated with information about the lockdown at individual schools.

All nine of Decatur City Schools were placed on lockdown for the second time in three weeks. Today’s lockdown, on Friday Dec. 14, was a system-wide soft lockdown. In the latest message on City Schools of Decatur website, CSD stated,

“Schools continue to operate as normally as possible with additional security precautions in place. After-school activities and dismissal will proceed as usual this afternoon. Law enforcement is investigating the threats, and continue to have a presence at our schools. We will share updates from the Decatur Police on Facebook as they are received.”

In response to threats, “similar to those received around the country.” Said a message on the CSD website, additional security precautions were placed at each school where Law enforcement officers are continuing the threats.

Schools will continue to operate on a normal schedule and Parents are able to check students out for scheduled appointments, but should expect additional security.

On Tuesday, November 27, Decatur Schools went on lockdown for over 4.5 hours on Tuesday in response to a bomb threat and threats of gun violence. Specific threats were made against Glennwood Elementary, Winona Park Elementary and Oakhurst Elementary. Police evacuated students from the Glenwood, moving them to nearby Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

Decatur Police responded at all CSD schools to the threats made by phone. Dekalb County Police and Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office also assisted with the investigation on all campuses. While officers found no evidence to substantiate the threats, they remained on all campuses after students were released at normal dismissal times. According to a statement from Decatur Police, additional officers will be posted at CSD schools throughout the end of the week, giving investigators time to “follow up” on potential leads.

In a statement published on twitter at 11:34 a.m., CSD Superintendent David Dude notified parents of the system-wide lockdown.

“Your child’s safety is our top priority,” Dude stated. “Out of an abundance of caution after receiving threats at some schools, CSD has gone into a system-wide lockdown.”

Parents received emails alerting them of the lockdown from Infinite Campus, reiterating Dude’s original statement and informing parents that children could not be picked up before the end of the school day. The same message was displayed upon visiting any City School’s website.

At 7:47 p.m., Dude sent a final email to parents.

Our staff was well prepared to respond to this type of emergency, and we are grateful for their actions today,” he stated.

The email also included a statement from Decatur Police with details about the lockdown.

Investigators are currently attempting to determine if there is a connection between the threats made to CSD and threats that have “recently occurred in the Metro Atlanta area,” Decatur Police stated.