Kansas Highway Patrol K-9 units are searching USD 382 buildings and grounds Nov. 7 following a district wide e-mail threat on Nov. 6.

Kansas Highway Patrol K-9 dogs are searching USD 382 buildings and grounds today following a district wide e-mail threat against the district that was received Monday, Nov. 6. When buildings are cleared, teachers are allowed to return to the building, said USD 382 Superintendent Suzan Patton.

The search of Southwest Elementary has been completed and teachers have been allowed to return to the building. This will be treated as a professional learning day for teachers.

Patton said she will meet with law enforcement later today and prepare more information for release on the USD 382 website and on social media. She estimates the additional information will be available around 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. today, Nov. 7.

Patton sent a message to district parents and students late Monday afternoon advising that school would be closed Tuesday, Nov. 7 because of threats made to administration and support staff of the school.

Patton said that once the district wider e-mail threat was received, the Pratt Police department was immediately contacted and the school’s emergency response plan enacted.

“We made contact with the e-mail service provider to determine the origins of the threat,” Patton said. “With the information we had, administration determined that we need more time to determine the origins and nature of the threat.”

To provide the necessary time to properly investigate, district officials cancelled Monday evening’s Scholars Bowl activity. All classes for Tuesday were cancelled for all students in order to allow for a full and proper inspection of each of the district’s buildings.

“Every threat must be taken seriously and must be addressed individually,” Patton said in her message to parents. “I encourage you and/or your child to come forward if you have any information that you believe would be helpful in solving this case.”

Those with information may call Principal Steve Blankenship at 672-4540, Principal Tony Helfrich at 672-4530, Principal Jason May at 672-4520, or Patton at 672-4500.

“We have great kids and staff at USD 382, it saddens me that threats like the one we are dealing with steal valuable time and effort away from students’ school experience,” Patton said. “However, we will do our best to keep our schools a safe and positive learning environment.”