Public schools put on ‘heightened alert’

Kansas Bureau of Investigation talks Wednesday to juvenile suspected of making threat

Lawrence public schools were on “heightened alert” Wednesday as state authorities investigated “a nonspecific threat of school violence in Kansas.”

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation released an advisory late Wednesday saying that they had identified and interviewed a juvenile who is suspected of making the threat.

“Local authorities have interviewed the suspect and are taking appropriate action,” Kyle Smith, deputy director of the KBI, said in a release. “Local authorities will now proceed with any additional investigation and possible prosecution.”

Superintendent Randy Weseman said Wednesday that Lawrence school officials made sure buildings were secure by monitoring main entrances, using sign-in and sign-out procedures for all school visitors, and watching for anything suspicious or out of the ordinary.

Wednesday was early-release day for public schools. Junior high school students went home by 1:30 p.m., elementary schools were all out by 2:15 p.m. and the high schools released students by 2:30 p.m.

“Everything went fine,” said Julie Boyle, the district’s communications director.

Lawrence police notified local schools about an investigation by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Atchison police “involving a nonspecific threat of school violence in Kansas,” Boyle said.

She said a Tuesday night posting on MySpace pages did not specify what school, where or when, just that a school shooting would occur Wednesday.

Boyle said the KBI advised them that there was no credible information to suggest the validity of the threat. Law enforcement recommended heightened awareness.