Schools locked down; investigation continues, no weapon found


CAPAC — There were a few tense moments in the Capac School District last Friday causing officials to place the campus on lockdown.

Superintendent Jeff Terpenning said shortly after 11 a.m. Friday, a decision was made to cancel the rest of the school day after a first grade student gave a playground aide something that had either been found or was in the student’s possession.

Terpenning said a loaded magazine clip for a handgun was given to the aide, who in turn gave it to the Elementary principal.

No actual weapon was ever found.

“The student walked up to the aide and handed the clip over. The student said they found it on the ground. So, at this point, that’s what we have to go on. Anything else would be pure speculation. Kudos to that student for doing the right thing,” the Superintendent said.

A Capac police department School Resource Officer and Terpenning were both notified and the decision was made to go in to immediate lockdown, according to the school’s policy for such incidents.

Based on the information that the magazine was found on the elementary playground, and only lower level students had been out prior to the discovery, Terpenning said officials focused their preliminary search on classrooms, lockers and backpacks of all kindergarten, first and second grade students only.

“We had a pretty good idea that the search could be limited to those lower levels,” the Superintendent stated. “The teachers all did a great job of keeping the students calm and not create a much larger situation. We ended up searching every possible space in the building.”

As word spread of the incident, school officials were pleased with the reaction of students and teachers. However, Terpenning did admit a handful of parents began showing up to the school to get their child prior to early dismissal.

According to Terpenning, school was dismissed by 11:45 for all grade levels as a precautionary measure. School officials and police then performed a complete search of the campus.

“You have to remember, we are not a totally closed campus when it comes to after school hours,” Terpenning explained. “There are sports activities all afternoon and early evening. The public certainly has access to the playground. So there are all kinds of people who have access to the playground. Not just the students. Someone could have been walking across the area and dropped it. Or someone may have tossed it down. It’s all pure speculation.”

Terpenning did review security footage from cameras, for several hours, and found nothing that was of concern to the investigation.

The Superintendent had nothing but high praise for how orderly the entire incident was handled.

“Our transportation department did a fantastic job in their response and getting students picked up,” Terpenning lauded. “We sent out messages to parents and they responded at the appropriate time. The staff did a fantastic job. And it had a positive outcome with no weapon being found. The student is to be commended.”

No other agencies were involved in the search, and the incident remains under investigation.