The general feedback surrounding the recent lockdown at Sentinel High School was mostly positive. However, some parents were questioning why they heard about the lockdown from the media and students before hearing from the school itself. Missoula County Public Schools Superintendent Mark Thane says there were some technical difficulties.

“I can’t remember the exact numbers so don’t hold me to this, but I think it was like 8:29 when the first message went out via connect five,” Thane said. “Some people received it immediately, but we had people who actually had time stamped copies that showed it did not get delivered to their cell phones until 9:01. Some lagged depending on cell phone vendor and certainly it may have to do with the internet gateways and whatever else, but that was a little bit of a learning curve for us.”

Thane says MCPS is working with their vendors in an effort to make sure this delay does not occur again. Thane says it was gratifying to hear the interactions between students and the law enforcement officers that were on the scene.

“I was just so impressed as we went to classrooms and actually went through the protocol with the kids and then dismissed them, how many of the students, as they exited the classroom, thanked the law enforcement officers or thanked us,” Thane said. “As difficult as the situation was and as unsettling, I think they all recognized the gravity and recognized that the adults were working for the student’s best interest, their safety and security.”

According to Thane, an investigation is ongoing and he asks anyone with information to please contact MCPS.

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