Shawnee Mission West H.S. placed on lockdown over safety concern

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Shawnee Mission West High School was placed on lockdown Tuesday afternoon as the school investigated a threatening message scribbled on a desk.

Students and teachers continued their classroom activities during the lockdown, according to Leigh Anne Neal, district spokesperson.

According to witnesses at the school, the student who found the message was a female who had arrived for her normal chemistry class. There were other students in the classroom. The note reportedly said "I'm going to shoot up West today." The student reported it to the teacher.

"We went on Code Red and everybody like started freaking out, but I honestly did think it was a joke," student Paige Habiger said. "It was kind of scary after I found out what it was about."

"A comment like that can frighten a few people, but teachers are being safe, locking doors, and so we felt pretty protected," Alizea Appleton said.

Here is the email parents with students at the school received Tuesday afternoon from Steve Loe, principal.

SM West Parents,
I want to share with you some information. We received a report today of a potential safety concern. Anytime a report of concern is received, we immediately begin a thorough investigation. We appreciate our Shawnee Mission School District Police and partners at the Overland Park Police Department who have assisted in the investigation of this report. While we have not found evidence that would lead us to believe there is a credible concern, we took the precautionary step to conduct a lockdown. Although this was strictly precautionary, it allowed us to practice our safety plans and processes. Students and staff continued learning within the classrooms. Thank you for your continued support in keeping our school and community safe.

FOX 4 spoke to John Lacy, Overland Park Police, who confirmed the lockdown but says the district was handling it. The lockdown was lifted about 15 minutes after it was issued at 1:20 p.m. No one is currently in custody, and it's unknown who wrote the threatening message.

No one has been taken into custody for making that threat.