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UPDATE: three Grants Pass schools secured premises, threat identified

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- Grants Pass School District says tonight it plans to have school as usual tomorrow. Its announcement follows a threat made against three District schools today and subsequent identification of the threat source.

Tonight, Grants Pass School District (GPSD) shared the following information that was sent to District staff and families about today's "secure" response at Grants Pass High School, South Middle School and North Middle School in response to a threat:

"This afternoon it was brought to the attention of Grants Pass police that an individual made a generic threat on social media. Law enforcement immediately responded to our schools and began an investigation.

"As part of our SECURE protocol, we moved students indoors, out of hallways, locked outside doors and went about business as usual.

"The individual who made the threat has been identified. While privacy laws prohibit us from discussing discipline of any specific individual, we can assure you that anyone found responsible for making threats of violence will face consequences as allowable by both District policy and law.

"The safety and security of our students and staff is always our priority and we take all threats seriously, as does the Grants Pass Police Department.

Please note, police have deemed it safe for us to have school as normal tomorrow, March 14, 2023."

Our original Monday afternoon article follows:

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- Three Grants Pass schools are releasing students in controlled groups after police told them to secure their premises Monday afternoon. 

"As part of our SECURE protocol, we have moved students indoors, out of hallways, locked doors and are going about business as usual," Grants Pass High School principal Ryan Thompson said in a letter to families at about 2:34 p.m. 

NewsWatch 12 will update this story when more information gets released.

Kristin Hosfelt, the communications and public relations specialist for Grants Pass School District, said that three schools were affected: Grants Pass High School, South Middle School and North Middle School. 

"A secure is what police will put us in if there is some type of threat in the area -- that would be something like a wild animal or some kind of police incident that is not directly related to our school," Hosfelt said. "We do have three schools that were placed into a secure this afternoon and police gave us the go-ahead to dismiss students, but we are doing that in a controlled fashion." 

A secure is different than a lockdown, Hosfelt said, which happens when there is a threat on the school campus. 

"There is no immediate concern about student safety," Hosfelt said. "For families and parents: we are doing a controlled release, so it's just a little slower than normal." 

Hosfelt said they are awaiting information from police about the threat that caused them to order the schools to secure their premises. NewsWatch 12 will update as information comes in.

Izzie Lund is the digital content manager at NewsWatch 12. You can reach Izzie at