Owatonna PD, High School Officials Issue Statements Regarding Monday's Lockdown

Owatonna PD, High School Officials Issue Statements Regarding Monday's Lockdown

February 11, 2019 05:26 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Officials with Owatonna Senior High School and the Owatonna Police Department said the school went into lockdown Monday afternoon after an altercation broke out allegedly involving racially offensive comments that were made on social media over the weekend.

The Owatonna Police Department issued this statement: 


On Monday, February 11, 2019, at 1147 hours, the Owatonna Police Department (OPD)
responded to a reported fight at the office at the Owatonna High School, 333 East School,
Owatonna. The OPD was assisted by the Minnesota State Patrol and Steele County Sheriff’s

Law enforcement officials arrived and observed a large group of students shouting and
being disruptive in the commons area and gymnasium. For the safety of the students and
staff a lock-down was ordered by school staff. Not all students were cooperative.

At this time, no students have reported any injuries. At this time, we are not aware of any
physical altercations between students.

Initial reports indicate a few white students posted racist comments on social media directed
towards our black students. The hateful post(s) are being investigated as part of the
ongoing investigation.

There were social media report of weapons being involved in this disturbance; these
reports are erroneous.

Gold Cross paramedics also responded to the high school for medical emergencies not
related to any assault.

A juvenile was taking into custody for assaulting a partnering law enforcement officer. A
second juvenile was taken into custody for obstructing legal process. A third juvenile was
cited and released for trespassing. These cases are currently under investigation.

The school issued this statement to ABC 6 News: 

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff is our number one priority. This message is to inform you that this afternoon at approximately 12:30 p.m. the Owatonna Senior High School was placed in lockdown.  

This past weekend, students turned to social media to make offensive comments. Today, the Owatonna Public Schools administration in conjunction with local law enforcement responded to assist in de-escalating a situation. No weapons were reported in this incident. An investigation began this past weekend and will continue until this issue has been resolved. 

This incident and lockdown was for Owatonna Senior High School only, no other district buildings were impacted.

Owatonna Public Schools administration and staff will continue to provide a safe environment and make safety our number one priority. 


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