Smithart: Students were never in danger

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Students at Opp Elementary School were never in any danger after a man allegedly threatened an OES staff member Monday, prompting an hour-long lockdown, said Opp City Schools Superintendent Michael Smithart.

The man, identified as Christopher Kip Jacobs, allegedly made the threats after being released from a Navarre, Fla., rehab facility. When Opp Police Department officers were unable to determine Jacob’s physical location within Opp, the school was placed on lockdown as a precautionary measure.

“We were made aware of a situation that immediately triggered our lockdown procedures, which are designed with one goal in mind – keeping our students safe,” Smithart said.

Smithart said once school officials received word of the alleged threat, all exterior doors were locked and students moved to a “safe location.”

For more than an hour, students and staff waited for the “all clear” from law enforcement.

“For us, once we got word the suspect was in custody, we resumed the normal school day,” he said. “At no time were students in harm’s way.”