Pendleton school briefly put on lockdown

Washington Elementary School was placed into a brief lockdown this morning (April 3, 2014) for precautionary reasons. Pendleton Police notified the school at 11:02 a.m. of a potential situation near the campus on Southwest Byers Avenue, and asked school administrators to place the building under lockdown as a precaution. The lockdown was lifted at 11:17 a.m.

The lockdown occurred during recess, so staff brought students inside the building and into classrooms. At the same time, morning kindergarten students were being released, so those students were kept inside the building, and bus drivers who'd already arrived to the school were brought indoors as a precaution, said Tricia Mooney, Assistant Superintendent of the Pendleton School District. Mooney said the school also contacted Mid Columbia Bus Company to ask bus drivers who had not yet reached the school to hold off on their arrival.

Pendleton Police Chief Stuart Roberts arrived on scene and lifted the lockdown at 11:17 a.m. after police took care of the nearby situation.

Mooney commended Washington staff and students for following the school's emergency lockdown procedures. During a lockdown situation, staff secure students inside classrooms, keeping them away from windows and entrances, and no entry is allowed in or out of the building.

"The safety of our students and staff is our top priority in the District, so we always take these situations very seriously," Mooney said. "We have a great relationship with the Pendleton Police Department, and the District appreciates the department's actions to keep staff and students safe, and for the quick resolve of the situation."