‘He responded exactly the way we would hope,’ Lakeland SD superintendent says of armed school resource officer
RATHDRUM, Idaho — An armed school resource officer was the first person to respond to reports of shots fired at Lakeland High School on Wednesday.
“He responded exactly the way we would hope he responded,” said Lakeland Joint School District Superintendent Dr. Becky Meyer.
During a press conference, Meyer said there was no evidence of shots fired, despite the call. A teacher reported the incident when she thought she heard gunfire, though no weapon was ever found on campus. Meyer said it can often be hard to decipher sounds and the teacher could have been confused by sounds from nearby construction.
Though there was no shot fired, Meyer said it is reaffiriming to know their protocol works.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to practice should the need arise. We know how to respond,” Meyer said.
Once the teacher reported the incident, the armed school resource officer was notified. Meyer said he responded immediately to that teacher’s classroom and spoke with the teacher. He ensured all students were safe, then reported to the area the teacher believed she heard the shots.
Other agencies — including Idaho State Police, Rathdrum Police, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Coeur d’Alene Fire, Post Falls Police, Spirit Lake Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation — all responded to the scene during that time.
Authorities then swept the building and ensured all students were safe before evacuating them to meet their parents.
The Lakeland Joint School District first hired an armed guard at Athol Elementary in 2018. Lakeland High School’s armed guard began working at the school in August.