Jefferson Elementary School Red Wing

Jefferson Elementary was in a precautionary lockdown from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on May 25.

Recent elementary school lockdowns in Red Wing led some parents to express concerns due to communication issues. Superintendent Karsten Anderson explained that a review of terminology needs to be conducted and he offered examples of school alerts that take place when no threats are involved -- as was the case last week.

On May 25, 2021, the elementary schools in Red Wing conducted precautionary lockdowns for a non-threatening issue, however due to how the district conveyed the message to the community, parents still were concerned for their children’s safety.

A few took to Facebook to express their displeasure and one comment on the Republican Eagle post announcing the lockdown read, “What is the point of a precautionary lockdown if there is no imminent threat? Something doesn’t make sense. How about just say you had a ‘drill’ then, or explain this better for parents. Seems like we aren’t getting the whole story.”

After hearing the complaints, Anderson said that the concerns at the elementary level May 25 were more in line with a need for an alert rather than a lockdown.

“We need to review our terminology to see if there are better phrases to use in the future,” he said. “These terms could be clearly defined so we have a better way to share information with students, parents, and staff members.”

Anderson explained that there are many different situations when Red Wing schools should be on alert, but it does not necessarily call for a lockdown or include a serious threat.

Alert examples

  • Insufficient information: There are possible concerns, but more information is needed.

  • Community issue: A community issue is taking place that does not involve students, staff or parents.

  • Behavior concerns: A person is exhibiting behaviors that cause concerns, but no threat is involved.

  • Custody issues: There is a disagreement between adults involving a student, so all students should stay in their classrooms.

Anderson will continue to look into this problem to find a solution that fits the needs of everyone.

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