Covington Catholic Reopens – With Extra Security

Sleepy Eye LaFromboise held hands with Nathaniel Hall, a diocese member who was praying to a rosary, at a protest outside the Covington Catholic Diocese on January 22, 2019.
Andrew Spear for The Washington Post via Getty Images
 

The Kentucky high school that was forced to close Tuesday following death threats over a misreported story that its students were bigoted toward Native Americans and a group of black men has reopened, but with extra security.

 

Covington Catholic High School was originally on a 2-hour delayed start due to cold weather, but was shut down after students began facing death threats. Tuesday evening, it was unclear whether the school would reopen Wednesday, as the Diocese of Covington posted a statement saying the school would “reopen when [law enforcement officers] say it is safe to do so.”

But WLWT5 reports the school is open as of Wednesday, with an additional police presence.

“Police vehicles could be seen Wednesday blocking the Covington Catholic parking lot where they've been stationed the past several days,” the NBC affiliate reported.

The students were targeted because a short clip of them chanting as a fellow student faced off with a Native American man was described as a racist encounter. Additional footage showed that the white, male Catholic students wearing Make America Great Again hats were being taunted by a group of Black Hebrew Israelites who hurled racial slurs at them. The students responded by singing their school spirit songs to drown out the comments. Then, a group of Native Americans, led by Nathan Phillips, marched into the group of teens and got right into the face of one of the students. Phillips began beating his drum inches from the kid’s face, later claiming he was trying to de-escalate a bad situation.

Law enforcement on Tuesday discussed the ongoing security threats facing Covington Catholic from those who made up their minds before seeing the full video that the students were in the wrong and somehow deserve death.

"And here we sit with a high school that's had to close down because of threats and fear for the protection of their students," Dr. John Stephenson, Kentucky’s former superintendent of education, told WLWT5. "That's wrong. Something is wrong with society when that happens."

 

Another man, Phillip Ryan III, held rosary beads and told the news outlet of the death threats: “I'd like to say that I'm praying for you. I hope that you can reconcile with yourself on what you're actually saying by threatening children.”

WLWT5 also reports that Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders suggested the school received “at least dozens, if not hundreds of threats.” These threats, according to the news outlet, have “arrived by every conceivable means of communication.”

In addition, police have blocked the entrance to the school for days, and have advised students not to wear school gear. The school cancelled all evening activities on Tuesday including a basketball game. Evening activities for Wednesday will go ahead as scheduled.

The school also sent parents a note on Tuesday detailing the additional safety measures and telling them to let the school know if they will keep their child home due to concerns.

 

"[I]f you as a parent do not feel comfortable sending your son to CCH tomorrow or for subsequent days, please know that we understand this viewpoint during this difficult time period."

Update: The Daily Wire has obtained a copy of the full letter sent to Covington Catholic parents from the school's principal, Bob Rowe. The letter details the added security measures, including police officers "in the parking lot, at the front doors, and in the building in the morning, throughout the school day and during afternoon/evening activities."

The school has also limited access to one parking lot and will only allow students, faculty, and staff to enter the building, "unless otherwise scheduled."

The letter also states, "These security measures will remain in place as long as needed."

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