Hillsboro schools campus

All the Hillsboro R-3 School District buildings were on lockdown this morning (Jan. 9) for about 50 minutes after alleged threats were made against a mother and her two children. The children attend school in the district, but it was not clear at the time whether anyone involved was on school grounds, Superintendent Jon Isaacson said.

At about 7:50 a.m., Hillsboro Elementary School Principal Rachel Carroll was alerted about the alleged threat and called Isaacson, who contacted the district’s School Resource Officer, Mary Forler. Then, Forler recommended the schools be locked down, Isaacson said.

He said the lockdown lasted until 8:36 a.m., when the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office  informed the district that the man who allegedly made the threats was in custody.

“One thing that was challenging is you have two buildings that are in session – the high school and junior high – and three buildings – the K-6 buildings – where you have bus drop-offs,” Isaacson said. “Knowing the threat is outside the school, we had to divert the buses away. I know it scares parents as they try to drop their kids off.”

Isaacson said the students and staff who already were in the buildings when the lockdown started remained in safe places, and students and staff arriving for the day were led to safe spots inside the buildings.

He said he understands some parents were upset that information wasn’t readily available during the lockdown, but he said the first priority was ensuring the safety of everyone at the schools.

“We would love to communicate right then and now with parents and our staff, but there is a little bit of a delay, which we hate, but our priority is the safety of the students,” Isaacson said. “I feel we do a great job communicating. I know it is never fast enough, but we do it as fast as we can. Our first priority is making sure the kids and staff are safe. I can apologize all day long for communication not being as fast as we want. I could never apologize enough for a kid getting hurt.”