What’s the Procedure?

Lakeland Experiences Multiple Safety Holds in Recent Weeks


“Was it the right thing to do or the wrong thing to do? The answer to that is: were any students harmed? No,” John Hatcher, Lakeland High School armed guard said on the recent safety holds.

In recent weeks, Lakeland High School and nearby schools have gone into safety holds two times for various threats outside the building.

Not all information on these safety holds can be shared for obvious reasons and police restrictions.

On Monday, Feb. 6, a safety hold spread across the distinct schools, as Hatcher has shared. Over the previous weekend, some vehicles were broken into, and some certain items were stolen that alerted the police’s attention were stolen, according to Hatcher.

Safety hold defaults consist of two major types; a lockdown and a basic safety hold, which means staying in class and the teacher can continue to teach.

This also means students can’t leave the classroom — which means no hallways — resulting in an extended class until the hold is lifted.

Whether the threat is in the building or outside decides the lockdown or safety hold status.

The difference with the safety holds this Monday was students could still roam the school, but they couldn’t leave or go outside.

“There are different types of safety holds, but since we had some time yesterday, we just did the one that worked the best for our school,” Hatcher said.

If there is an issue outside, they can do as they wish in the building, but they have to stay inside and wonder what’s happening.

An email sent out to all of the parents of students through Lakeland SkyAlert said:

Out of an abundance of caution, while the Rathdrum Police Department completes its investigation of the recent car break-ins that occurred over the weekend in Rathdrum.

The LJSD is initiating a safety hold for all Lakeland Schools in the Rathdrum area. Safety is our #1 Priority!

This message let the parents know what was going on, but some thought it still didn’t give full clarity on the matter.

“You always have parents react and a lot of people were calling our school,” Hatcher said. “It was all the schools in the city of Rathdrum.”

Hatcher said that he wishes he could share more information with everyone to try to clear the tension, adding it would be a lot easier to understand if he could just tell everyone the details. However exact details of the event cannot be disseminated during ongoing investigations. 

Since all the information can’t be shared, it brings out fear in the parents. Hatcher added that they sharing as much as they can.

Another downside is the seniors with free periods or plans for off campus lunch and activities.

Several students were checked out of the school by their parents and the school was eligible for their release since it was a parental request.

Some upperclassmen found the safety hold unnecessary and it messed with their day. Senior Damen Cope only has has four periods this semester meaning he gets to leave early.

“I thought it was really annoying the fact that the people that are supposed to be leaving early weren’t able to leave, which ruins my day,” Cope said.

He said the hold was pointless because the threat wasn’t directly on the school, and he believes it shouldn’t have messed with everyone’s day. He was checked out halfway through fifth period. This meant he had to stay in the school for an extra hour and a half compared to usual.

Cope, and other upperclassmen found this frustrating.

“We’re doing the right thing to keep your kids safe,” Hatcher said.