CRHS put into lockdown; first responders sent to CRHS because of hoax


Photo Source: Josh Castro

Canyon Ridge High School

The Riverhawk Review Staff

In the morning of Wednesday, February 22, Canyon Ridge High School was put into a hard lockdown due to an anonymous call to the 311 hotline about an active shooter which turned out to be a hoax. After two sweeps of the building by law enforcement, no evidence of a shooter or weapon were found, and no students or staff were harmed.

According to an emailed account by Dr. Kasey Teske, CRHS principal, at 9:50 am, Mr. Scott Thompson, a CRHS assistant principal, met police officers outside the front of the building who were running towards the front entryway. Officers quickly informed Mr. Thompson of a potential active shooter in or around Room 125.

That information was promptly relayed to the front office where Mrs. Lesa Long, CRHS secretary, announced over the intercom, “Lockdown! We are in a lockdown! This is not a drill!” Since the announcement was made during the passing period, students were told to find a room or leave the building if they could. Mr. Thompson followed law enforcement officers to the 100 hall while students and staff locked themselves in classrooms or fled the premises.

In Dr. Teske’s emailed account, he and Mrs. Long monitored surveillance cameras and saw that halls were clear of any threats. Law enforcement from various agencies began sweeping the halls and, after two sweeps of halls and classrooms, determined that there was no evidence of an active shooter or anyone being harmed. At 10:13, while in lockdown, Dr. Teske emailed staff informing them that no evidence of a shooting was found but ordered teachers to remain in lockdown. Law enforcement continued to search rooms.

At around 10:51, Superintendent Dr. Brady Dickinson, accompanied by other administrators from the district office announced over the CRHS intercom that apparently a false report of a shooter was given to law enforcement, and CRHS was not the only school targeted by the hoax. Various other schools in Idaho were also put on lockdown. Around 10:56, Dr. Dickinson announced that students would be released to leave at noon, but students could be checked out at the front office by a parent or guardian. 

Around 11:00 students were sent to their advisory classes where the process of reunifying students with parents/guardians began. At 11:50, remaining students were released. Students who regularly ride the bus were welcomed to wait in the cafeteria, and the last students to leave did so around 1:10 pm. Lunch was still served to those students who wanted lunch. Staff were released early as well. Many first responders remained on the premises until students were cleared from the building.

During the course of and after the lockdown, some 200 first responders arrived at CRHS and the Nazarene Church, the designated rallying point in the event of tragedy at CRHS. Multiple law enforcement officers praised CRHS staff and students for the quick, organized response to the threat by following ALICE protocol.

“This is also a good time for all of us to review the ALICE protocols and think about our own response to a situation such as this. In the coming days, we will meet with our first responders to debrief and talk about any areas where we need to modify practice or make adjustments to our response” said Dr. Dickinson in an email.

Other TFSD schools went into various degrees of lockdown, but there was no direct threat made to any other school in the Twin Falls School District.

According to the same email from Dr. Dickinson, FBI is investigating the many false reports made to various schools on Wednesday. 

On Thursday 23, the day after the lockdown, students and staff were given the option to take a medical absence and not come to school, and various counselors from around the Twin Falls School District and the surrounding area were sent to Canyon Ridge High School to treat any staff or students in need of counseling. 

Much of the CRHS student population did not attend school on Thursday for various reasons, including attending the state wrestling competition and state Business Professionals of America Conference. State-bound CRHS wrestlers and BPA members were not given the customary celebratory sendoff due to the lockdown.