DRIGGS — Rendezvous Upper Elementary in Driggs launched a “soft lockdown” on Friday after students and staff heard what they thought were gunshots fired near school property.
“During fourth grade recess, students reported seeing a car driving near the playground, waving what appeared to be a gun and shooting in the air,” the school principal wrote, Kristen Weston, to parents in an email Friday. “We responded immediately, pulling all students inside where we remained until we received notification from the police department who worked quickly to investigate the situation. The culprits were caught and the individual shot a capsule gun.
Public Information Officer Mitch Golden of the Teton County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday morning that deputies determined the incident had no malicious intent and there was no threat to the school. or the students. The incident did not occur on school grounds.
“It was a poorly thought out action that could have had more serious consequences,” Golden said. “The incident is still under review and no charges have been filed.”
Golden said school officials have not requested any additional security measures inside the school. Deputies responded just before noon on Friday and hovered around the school area for more than two and a half hours.
Weston explained in the parents’ email that a “soft lockdown” occurs when the school maintains “normal indoor activities”, during a security alert. District safety protocols available online do not define soft lockdowns, but add that each school tailors specific safety procedures to the variety of schools in the district.
“While it’s a relief that the individuals were caught and the situation wasn’t more serious, it certainly doesn’t lessen the genuine fear that some of our fourth-year friends felt,” Weston wrote. “Our staff did a wonderful job leading a ‘soft lockdown’, while keeping their cool and reassuring students.”
It was Teton 401’s first week of school. Rendezvous Upper Elementary School is located in Driggs and serves fourth and fifth graders. A link to the district’s school safety protocols can be found here.