Washington School District Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer issued the following statement Thursday afternoon in response to the district employee who was arrested resulting in the closure of all schools for that day.
“First, I would like to sincerely thank everyone for their understanding today (Thursday). We take these types of situations very seriously and certainly work closely with the police department in instances such as this.
“The Washington Police Department has done an exceptional job investigating and communicating with the school district. With that said, allow me to summarize what has occurred.
“A noncertified employee of the district was placed on administrative leave yesterday afternoon so district officials could investigate a reported concern. This concern was not indicative of a threat toward any school.
“We were contacted this morning by the police department that this individual was under arrest and was in custody for actions that occurred in O’Fallon. Due to the timing of this report and the need to conduct further investigations here in Franklin County, and subsequently in Washington, the decision to close schools was made.
“In these situations, it takes time to work through the process and thus determine the details surrounding the events, time frames, question others and reach some concluding decisions.
“As for tomorrow (Friday, March 9), school will be in session. The individual remains in custody and the police continue to have the matter under control. We are grateful for their swift action and value for our schools.”
A notifcation also was issued Thursday that the Washington School Board has scheduled a special meeting for Monday at 8 a.m. to discuss personnel. This is a closed meeting.