Affton School District Superintendent addresses multiple school lockdowns

Missouri

AFFTON, Mo. – Affton School District parents are frustrated after the multiple written threats forced school lockdowns over the last two months.  

Wednesday evening Affton School District Superintendent Dr. Travis Bracht sent a statement to the community to address the issues after another incident.   

“Hopefully it’ll stop soon you know and they can figure out something and we can get back to regular learning these guys are getting cheated out of learning they’re on lockdown for four hours it just changes the course of the whole day,” David Vuichard said.  

Vuichard has four children in the district.  

One of them is his son Kaden Recht who’s a 6th grader at Rogers Middle School. He says the lockdowns cause a distraction.  

“It interrupts all the people’s learning time and that defeats the purpose of going to school,” Recht said.  

The Affton school district released a statement to parents Wednesday saying the students involved in the October 6 and 12 at Rodgers Middle School have been resolved and the students are now facing consequences outlined in the school code of conduct.  

“Maybe this will set an example and they can get back to doing what they need to do at school instead of going in the bathroom and destroying school property and doing stuff they don’t need to be doing.” 

The other incidents involving threatening messages found in different Affton High School bathrooms on Sept 16 and Oct. 13 are still being investigated.  

“Today, our investigation into the latest incident involving a threatening message found in a school bathroom has been closed. This written threat was discovered in a girls’ bathroom on the rogers middle school campus and was specific enough to be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.” 

The student has been identified and removed from campus and could face legal charges and a long-term suspension from school. 

“I’m sure the police have better stuff to do than keep coming to school for that,” Vuichard said.  

Dear Affton School District Students, Families, and Staff,

First and foremost, thank you. Thank you for your words of encouragement and the support you have shown over the past few weeks.

This school year has certainly been challenging for all those with a connection to our district, and especially at Rogers Middle School and Affton High School. With several unrelated situations which have involved both AHS students and RMS students, we’ve been a community reminded how a few words strung together can create considerable disruption and evoke emotions that cover the continuum. People care about their family and friends, they care about safety, and they care about our community. 

Today, our investigation into the latest incident involving a threatening message found in a school bathroom has been closed. This written threat was discovered in a girls’ bathroom on the Rogers Middle School campus and was specific enough to be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. Due to the increased safety measures we’ve implemented, RMS administrators alongside the St. Louis County Police were able to resolve this situation in a very timely manner while also ensuring the safety of students and staff.

A student has been identified and removed from campus. This student now faces possible legal charges and a long-term suspension from school. 

Additionally, we can now share that the two incidents involving threats written in bathrooms at Rogers Middle School on October 6th and 12th have also been resolved. These students also faced consequences as outlined in our Code of Conduct.

The incidents of threatening messages found written in different restrooms at Affton High School on September 16th and October 13th are still under review. Through the construction of a timeline and the utilization of video, AHS administration and law enforcement have been able to narrow the list to a few students who accessed the bathroom in question in each instance and the investigations remain open.

It is important to note that it does not appear as though any of these threatening messages were connected nor did perpetrators seem to work together. Different restrooms in different areas of each school were used. However, they are similar enough to appear to be copycat incidents, which is the reason we have not shared the specific wording of any messages. These incidents must stop. 
We remain diligent in our efforts to keep all of our students and employees safe, and will continue taking additional measures including: 

Our schools have increased supervision and monitoring of bathrooms. This has not only helped discourage inappropriate behaviors but also helped narrow the timeframe should a message be written.

The video surveillance system that was already in place at Affton High School and Rogers Middle School has been expanded to include Gotsch Intermediate, and soon Mesnier Primary. This video system helps us more quickly identify individuals who had access to a specific area during a specific period of time.

We continue to speak with students to reinforce that words matter — whether spoken, written, or posted online — and using threatening language has serious repercussions. Threatening messages are never a joke, nor a laughing matter.

Please encourage your child to keep reporting concerning posts and behaviors — to a parent, an Affton School District staff member, the police, or a trusted adult. Anonymous reports, including screenshots or images, can be submitted at https://bit.ly/AfftonTips.

The Affton community has extraordinary people who do wonderful things and will continue to do so well into the future. On occasion, the actions of a handful do put us on alert and may even have us question ourselves and our community. We hope to continue working together with you and supporting one another to strengthen the experiences that our students, families, employees, and community enjoys. 

Sincerely, 
Dr. Travis Bracht
Superintendent

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