Reidland High, Middle schools closed due to threat


Producer - Catlin Bogard
Executive Producer - Josh Morgan

PADUCAH -- Reidland High and Middle schools will be closed on Tuesday, December 18th after recieving a "serious threat."

According to the McCracken County Sheriff's Department, a reporter from the Paducah Sun contacted sheriff's deputies Monday morning, stating that a letter containing a serious threat was sent to the newspaper's editor concerning Reidland High School.

Sheriff deputies requested the letter as well as the author's name and phone number which was attached to the letter. Their request was denied, citing ethical obligations to protect the newspaper's sources.

The Sheriff's department met with the executive editor of the newspaper around 1:00 p.m. Monday afternoon, again asking for the letter and contact information. That request was also denied.

Around 4:30 p.m, another request was made for the same information from the McCracken County Attorney's Office. The newspaper agreed to turn over the letter, but refused to provide the author's name or contact information.

According to the Paducah Sun, the contents of the letter were never withheld from authorities and that a paper copy of the letter was given upon request.  It is still not clear when the contents and copy of the letter were actually turned over to authorities.

The sheriff's department says additional requests were made from McCraken County Commonwealth Attorney Dan Boaz.

Boaz, along with sheriff's officals met with McCracken County School Superintendent Nancy Waldrop, and board attorney Gorman Bradley Monday evening to discuss the threat.

Calls were made to the newspapers attorneys, according to sheriff's deputies.

The decision was then made to cancel school until the threat has been adequately investigated. The closure includes Reidland Middle school as a extra precaution, due to the two school buildings being attached.

 The McCracken County Sheriff's Department says they are still working with the Paducah Sun to obtain all of the information, including the author of the letter.

According to the Paducah Sun, they will seek legal counsel this morning over the identification of the author of the letter.
As for the contents of the letter, the Paducah Sun reports that it "does not contain any specific threats of violence, just [a] student's observations."
We have pulled an excerpt from this morning's Paducah Sun, so we can share some of the contents of this letter.  This is a direct quote from the unknown author of the letter.

"Someone who sits in class with us, who has brought weapons twice ... has yet to be punished for anything."

Local 6's Marissa Hollowed is out at Reidland High School this morning and she will continue to follow this story throughout the day here on Local 6 and bring you any updated information as it becomes available.

Note: The Paducah Sun and WPSD-TV are both owned by Paxton Media Group.