Editor’s note: The story initially identified the middle school as an elementary school; this story has since been updated to reflect the clarification.
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Kelso High School and Coweeman Middle School students and faculty were “evacuated” from class and escorted to safe zones after reports of a firearm on the high school campus around 1 p.m. Friday, according to Kelso Police Department.
The police department said the threat was started by a text message and picture of a firearm possibly inside the school.
After searching the school, the district said law enforcement found no evidence to substantiate the threat and there was no active threat to students. Kelso Police Department added there were no reports of a firearm being discharged and “no credible information that any student was in possession of a firearm.”
Officials said no injuries have been reported and police have cleared the scene.
Several law enforcement agencies responded to the scene to evacuate students and faculty to safe zones and search the building, Kelso PD said.
KOIN 6 News spoke with students and parents who said the experience was frightening.
“The exactly not knowing what was going on inside the building was scary but I was glad the school kept with communication that we were able to come pick them up and everything’s fine now,” said parent Kari Kinder.
In an initial notification to parents, the school district said police were onsite investigating and that “students are all safe inside classrooms.”
In an updated message to parents, the district said police were searching and securing all classrooms — noting, “as each classroom is cleared, students in those classrooms are being escorted to the gymnasium, which was cleared and secured first. Students will be held in the gym until the entire school is secured.”
The school district asked parents to not go to or try to enter the school.
School officials said parents can park at Tam O’Shanter Park and walk to the South Gym to pick up their students and ask parents to bring identification.
Middle and elementary school buses ran as normal however the district said there will be a delay in releasing high school students—noting release time will be determined by police. Buses will also return to the high school around 4 p.m., officials said.
The school district announced that all evening events and events over the weekend have been cancelled, including football, homecoming, sports practices and youth sports.
Student belongings left at school can be picked up from 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday only, officials said.
This is a developing story.