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Rock Bridge Principal explains large law enforcement presence at school Tuesday in email to parents

File photo of Rock Bridge High School
File photo of Rock Bridge High School


Rock Bridge High School Principal Jacob Sirna sent an email to families Tuesday night to clarify why there was a large law enforcement presence at the school earlier that day.

Sirna said there was no threat to students, but contacted law enforcement as part of their protocols. The school was never on lockdown, according to the email.

Columbia Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said the investigation involved a student who was not on campus at the time.

Several law-enforcement agencies arrived to the school and were holding rifles, according to the email.

“So while it appeared, based on law enforcement response, that we had a very serious situation on our hands, we never did. Students were not in harm’s way,” Sirna said in the email. “There was no weapon on campus. We asked for assistance with an investigation and police responded to what they understood was a threat. It was not. I am truly sorry that this interrupted your day and caused unnecessary fear among you and/or our students.”

Baumstark said after a request to Columbia police was made, other agencies become involved and “the request became elevated to something else.”

“That is beyond our purview as we don't handle dispatch or call relays,” Baumstark said in an email. “At this point we have to chalk it up to a well-intentioned, but bad game of telephone. At no time was there a threat or did we believe the school was in danger.”

The Columbia Police Department, Boone County Sheriff's Office, Missouri State Highway Patrol and Park Rangers showed up to investigate after there were reports of a student being possibly armed.

CPD said Tuesday that officers were sent to the school at about 12:15 p.m. School security couldn't find the student, so several officers were sent to the school "out of an abundance of caution," according to a CPD Facebook post.

This all comes following a school shooting at a St. Louis high school Monday morning. Two people were killed at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, seven were injured.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia Public Schools
columbia police department
rock bridge high school

Ryan Shiner


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