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Two threats prompt lockdown of Wapato schools Friday

Threats focused on Wapato High School and PACE alternative high school, officials say

— Two unrelated social media threats prompted Wapato School District officials to lockdown campuses and institute heightened security measures today starting at 8:15 a.m.

According to district officials, the first threat referenced Wapato High School and was posted Thursday night.

“In response, the district worked late into the night and very early this morning getting increased security personnel in place at all school buildings by the time students began arriving,” a safety alert issued by district spokesman Mike Balmelli said.

Additionally, administrators locked doors to schools and greeted and screened anyone arriving on campus, he said. Students were also barred from recess and physical education programs outdoors.

“Those heightened security measures remained in place throughout the school day,” Balmelli said. “To help with the investigation, Wapato High School operated under a modified lockdown structure throughout the majority of the school day.”

The district also canceled an assembly scheduled for the end of the day.

In the second incident, a threat was discovered Friday morning on social media — the threat targeted the alternative high school, PACE.

“Upon learning about the PACE situation, the district called for a full lockdown of all School District buildings and immediately involved law enforcement,” Balmelli said. “The school day ended without incident and with all students and staff being kept safe.”

Balmelli referred all other questions on the incident to Wapato police.

The social media threats and lockdown in Wapato come just four days after a threat was posted on Snapchat that prompted the Grandview School District to lock down its campuses.

A 13-year-old boy was arrested and his bail set at $2,500 for his threats there focused on Grandview Middle School.

Police have yet to release the name of the boy.

Juvenile prosecuting attorney Nick Barrett said while the bail may seem low, it is normally much lower for juveniles than for adults for similar charges.

Classes on Grandview campuses returned to normal Tuesday.

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