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  • Springfield News-Leader

    Following threat, Willard High School heightens security measures for Thursday

    By Claudette Riley, Springfield News-Leader,

    21 days ago

    Following a threat, Willard High School is stepping up security measures for Thursday — the final day of classes for the 2023-24 year.

    Willard Public Schools notified employees and families of the threat Wednesday evening.

    According to the district, an anonymous message left in a high school bathroom Wednesday referenced a threat of violence against the school.

    The leadership of the high school was notified of the message after school, via an email, and immediate initiated an investigation.

    Both school resources officers and local law enforcement are involved. They are working to identify the source of the message.

    Heather Harman-Michael, director of communications and public relations, said the district will not be conducting interviews Thursday about the matter, citing the ongoing investigation.

    In the message to families and employees, the district outlined extra safety measures that will be in place at the high school Thursday, including:

    • All school resource officers will be present at the high school, inside the building and at the building entrances used by students;
    • The Willard Police Department will have a presence in high school parking lots and at the front and the rear entrances of the building;
    • No backpacks, bags, and purses will be allowed into the building. Students who need to return devices or books will be asked to carry them;
    • Additional exterior door checks will be completed;
    • Doors will be locked and checked at the beginning of each hour;
    • There will be ongoing supervision of hallways, locker rooms and similar spaces;
    • School resource officers will be part of the dismissal process.

    In the message, the district told employees and families that more information will be provided as the investigation continues. The district asked for patience.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact Matt Farmer, director of school police, at, and Kevin Morrison, high school principal, at

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