Layton High parents wish communication from school during lockout came faster
Sep 20, 2022, 10:37 PM
LAYTON, Utah — Layton High School parents are wondering if communication could have been better during a school lockout Tuesday afternoon, after a stabbing occurred during a fight between students near the school.
KSL TV messaged with and spoke to several parents who shared concerns and questions over how the school chose to inform parents of what was going on, and when.
Lunchtime at Layton High Tuesday turned frantic when an announcement came over the PA system that everyone was going into lockout.
“It was scary for all of us,” said Austin Jahner, a 15-year-old sophomore who said he was hanging out with friends in a classroom at the time.
Students around him began to get upset, and he said others had to calm them down.
“There were quite a few students like in tears panicking from it,” he explained.
No one knew at first why the school was going into lockout.
Austin immediately texted his parents to let them know what was happening.
Dad Erik Jahner was at work and stopped what he was doing to respond to Austin’s text saying there was a school lockout and it wasn’t a drill.
“Lockout — You think instantly, you know, there’s a shooting or something going on at the school,” Jahner said.
He had no idea if the threat was in the school or outside of it. He wasn’t sure if it meant his son might be in danger.
“So I instantly went into panic mode, like what’s going on? No information,” he said.
In the chaotic hour that followed, Jahner watched the news for updates. He was able to take a short call from Austin, and word started spreading around the school about a stabbing involving students at Layton City Park across the street.
Layton City police said a fight broke out during lunch between a couple groups of high school students at the park.
A 16-year-old student got out either a knife or pair of shears and stabbed a 15-year-old student in the upper torso, Lt. Travis Lyman said. The student will survive, and Lyman said they took the suspect into custody at the apartment he lives in nearby.
Jahner said he didn’t get any communication from the school until he received an email after the lockout was lifted. The email arrived in his inbox just after 1:45 p.m., more than an hour after the incident took place at 12:30.
“I just glanced over the email and I was like, a little late, you guys,” he said.
He’s hoping if there’s another situation where it’s not a drill, communication comes faster to parents so they’re not left wondering, waiting, and stressing over their kids.
Jahner suggested having the automated phone system send out a message versus an email.
“I felt they could have easily got on that automated system and just say, hey our school’s on lockdown all our students are safe,” he expressed.
Jahner just wanted to know if the kids inside school were OK.
“That reassurance would have been huge,” he said.
Layton police said they’re still sorting out who all was involved and what led to such a violent fight.
Layton High School sent another email to parents Tuesday night, giving them an update and saying school counselors will be available to any student who needs support Wednesday:
Dear parents and guardians,
I want to provide you a bit of an update to the message I sent to you earlier today.
Our school was placed in lockout shortly before 1 p.m. today after the Layton City Police Department received a report of an altercation at a nearby park. During a lockout, the outside doors to the school remain locked while classes continue as normal. That lockout lasted about 45 minutes.
For your information, two of our students were involved, and police are continuing their investigation of the incident. Anyone with information about the situation is asked to call police at 801-497-8300.
Also, school counselors will be available to any student who feels they’d like additional support tomorrow.
We appreciate Layton City Police for their outstanding efforts to help us keep our school safe.
Layton High School