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4 local schools were briefly on lockdown due to police activity in Ferguson Township

What happens during a school lockdown?

A school lockdown is a precautionary measure issued in response to a direct or nearby threat. It requires staff and students to respond quickly and comply with rules. Here’s how it often works.
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A school lockdown is a precautionary measure issued in response to a direct or nearby threat. It requires staff and students to respond quickly and comply with rules. Here’s how it often works.

Four local schools were placed on lockdown for about 10 minutes Monday morning after a man made suicidal threats at a nearby residence, Ferguson Township police Chief Chris Albright said.

Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School, the Goddard School for Early Childhood Development, Corl Street Elementary School and Our Lady of Victory Catholic School went into lockdown about 10:30 a.m., though there was no direct threat to the schools, Albright said.

All students and staff members are safe, he said.

An 18-year-old man and his 17-year-old girlfriend were in the midst of an argument at a Blair Road residence when the man made the threats, Albright said. The man reportedly cut himself with a knife, while the girl was uninjured. The cut was not life threatening, Albright said.

The man fled from the residence and the girl called 911 as a precaution. He was found by police less than 10 minutes later at the State College Evangelical Free Church along Blue Course Drive, according to Albright.

SC Evangelical Free church
Police activity in Ferguson Township led to area schools being briefly placed on lockdown Monday morning. Police are investigating threats made during an argument between two people at a Blair Road residence. The man involved in the argument was found by police the State College Evangelical Free Church. Lauren Muthler lmuthler@centredaily.com

The man was transported to Mount Nittany Medical Center for evaluation. Ferguson Township police are investigating the incident, and Albright said he was not yet sure if criminal charges will be filed.

In an email sent to YSCP families, assistant principal Crystal Confer wrote that the lockdown was prompted by Ferguson Township police.

“We were only in lockdown for about 10 minutes and now back to our normal activities,” she wrote. “All of our students and staff members are safe.”

Vernon Bock, State College Area School District superintendent of elementary education, sent a similar email to Corl Street families.

“I appreciate the Corl Street faculty and staff responding quickly to keep our students safe,” he wrote.

The OLV lockdown went “flawlessly,” school resource officer Terry Stec said.

Centre LifeLink EMS, Patton Township and State College police assisted, Albright said.

Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Behavior Intervention Specialist Bill Ewing demonstrates the Barracuda Intruder Defense System at the school. The system is designed to block an intruder from entering classrooms and student spaces.

Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.

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