Hoax causes lockout at Days Creek

School placed in lockout Tuesday morning on advice from sheriff’s office


Days Creek students move between classes in the high school hall Tuesday. Earlier in the day, students were confined to their classes after a hoax triggered a lockout.

Tiller-Trail Times

Days Creek was just one of many schools that went into lockdown Tuesday over a hoax, disrupting classes and causing a panic for parents.

The school went into a lockdown just before 10 a.m. under the advisement of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. 

“We were informed that there is likely a state wide hoax taking place involving active shooters at various schools around the nation,” superintendent Steve Woods said. “Out of an abundance of caution, because of the false allegations, schools in Douglas County were
either in lockout or lockdown this morning. Following a prompt and thorough investigation, the emergency order was lifted, and classes resumed normally.”

DCSO detective Travis Whetzel and another deputy arrived on campus around 10:15 and performed a search and at 10:24 a.m., the lockdown was lifted.

“We believe these to be swatting incidents to instigate police response and generate panic among responders and community members,” Lt. Brad O’Dell said in a press release. “There have been similar incidents occurring nationwide for at least the past 24 hours. Law Enforcement will respond to and assess each incident appropriately.”

“Swatting” is when someone gives misinformation to the police to trigger an emergency response.

There was some confusion on campus about whether the incident was a drill or not. The school went through a drill to practice for if a cougar were on campus.

“It was a good experience to have because nobody takes the drills seriously,” PE teacher David Hunt said. “I also think the people who did it are dumb. They are ruining their lives.”

According to the school’s crisis management plan, lockdowns call for locked doors, lights out and for students to be out of sight. Lockouts, according to the plan, simply disallow students to come or go from the classroom and for doors to be locked; class activities may continue.

“I think it’s a scary world we live in,” senior Lizzy Leodoro said. “I had anxiety because my cousin goes to South Umpqua.”

Some students at Days Creek first learned about something amiss from friends and acquaintances at South Umpqua, where there were rumors of an actual live shooter situation.

“I think it’s significant to note that misinformation was sent to students over social media from friends and family,” history teacher Matt Giles said.

The incident disrupted the very end of second period and more than a third of third period.

“It was good practice, but I don’t like that it wasted class time and it wasted school time,” math Brian Jenks said.