Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
Delano Public Schools respond to ‘low level’ threat last week
April 26, 2010

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

DELANO, MN – Local authorities responded to a “low level” threat at Delano High School Monday afternoon.

A note was found on tissue paper in one of the bathrooms in the high school with the word “bomb” written on it, according to Delano Public Schools Superintendent Dr. John Sweet. He wouldn’t elaborate on any other details of the note, only stating it was “vague.”

Wright County authorities were immediately notified and an investigation into the matter took place.

“Wright County authorities believe this to be a very low level threat, however all threats are taken seriously and precautionary measures are being taken,” Sweet said.

At the close of the school day Monday, Delano Middle School, Delano High School and the Tiger Activity Center were closed until 7 a.m. Tuesday so that Wright County authorities could conduct a thorough search of both the middle school and high school.

This action did not include Delano Elementary School or the Community Education Building.

“At the end of the school day on Monday the Wright County Sheriff’s Department, with the assistance of a state trooper and bomb-sniffing dog, did a thorough search of the middle school and high school,” Sweet said. “No bomb was found.”

Tuesday morning, all students and staff at the middle school and high school went through a routine bag search with law enforcement and school officials stationed at each of the entrances, beginning at 7 a.m.

Sweet likened the search as being similar to what one experiences at the Metrodome or Target Field.

“No contraband was found,” Sweet said of the morning searches.

“We are having discussion about the advisability of holding these bag searches on a random basis throughout the school year to impress on people that we are taking measures to keep the school buildings safe,” Sweet added.

The week before, a “soft” lockdown was implemented at Delano Public Schools the morning of April 15 around 9 a.m.

A prior call for possible mental health issues was received by the Wright County Sheriff’s Office for a residence on Elm Avenue near the school campus, according to Wright County Chief Deputy Joe Hagerty.

He added that there was nothing going on at the school itself and this was done simply as a precautionary measure.

“It’s always better to be safe,” Hagerty said following that incident.

“I thank everyone for their patience as we deal with the safety concerns on the campus,” Sweet added.

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