Officers from the Hillsboro Police Department entered a Liberty High School classroom with weapons drawn on Monday, Dec. 3, after receiving an erroneous report of an armed student in the classroom.
The school went into a lockdown at approximately 9:15 a.m., Monday, as officers arrived at the school. According to Hillsboro Police spokesman Eric Bunday, officers quickly determined there was no threat to the students.
Hillsboro School District spokeswoman Beth Graser said police were called after two students in one of the school's classrooms got into a heated argument. Another student in the class reportedly texted her mother about the altercation and that mother called 911 saying she believed one of the students was armed.
Several police officers responded to the scene Monday morning and entered the classroom with their weapons drawn. The incident was reportedly captured on video by a student. The video appears to show Hillsboro police officers carrying rifles and handguns addressing students, who have their hands raised.
No weapons were found on any of the students involved in the argument. The fight was verbal only, according to Liberty Principal Greg Timmons, and never turned physical.
Bunday told the Hillsboro Tribune that officers believed they were responding to a serious threat at the school.
"The officers were responding to a report that there was potentially someone armed in the classroom," Bunday said. "When that is the case, officers take necessary precautions to go in there. If there is something going on there, they are able to address it."
In a letter to parents released Monday, Timmons said the officers' actions were standard procedure if police believe weapons may be in the classroom, as they did in this case.
"I understand this may be frightening to see," Timmons said of the video, which began circulating on social media after the incident. "Students have been encouraged not to share this video on social media because of the potential for it to be taken out of context and for it to generate rumors."
The lockdown was initiated as a precaution to keep students and staff safe as they isolated the students in question and confirmed that there was no threat, Graser said. The lockdown was lifted at approximately 9:34 a.m.
No arrests were made, Bunday said.
Timmons said the school will provide resources to impacted students on Tuesday.
"If you feel your student needs additional support, please have them reach out to their counselor or to our front office staff," Timmons said. "I apologize for the disruption and upset this incident has caused, but remain grateful to students, staff, parents, and to our law enforcement partners for their swift action and support."
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