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Templeton High School placed on lockdown Friday 

–Tempelton High School was placed on lockdown Friday morning due to the sighting of what may have been a weapon. The following email was sent out to parents throughout the school district by Superintendent Joe Koski:

“At approximately 7:50 this morning, a Templeton High School student observed a classmate carrying a weapon which based on its color and composition was believed to be a toy. The student immediately informed school personnel just in case. Out of an abundance of caution, the lockdown procedure was instituted and localized to THS. Within minutes, school administrators were able to determine that the object was, in fact, a toy firearm. At 8:05, the all clear signal was given and the campus returned to normal operations. The school will review all actions associated with this event and will revise procedures and protocols as necessary.

I wish to thank all of the students and staff at THS who responded quickly and appropriately. They allowed trained personnel to implement emergency procedures and allowed the situation to be brought to closure quickly with no threat to students or staff.”

Koski later sent out an additional letter with further information reading:

“It has been determined that the genesis for the recent lockdown at THS was a game called Assassins. It is my understanding that students enter into a contest with the purpose of finding creative ways to “kill” other players in the game. This could take the form of a picture of a bomb placed on their car or pointing a toy firearm at another player. The last person remaining alive is deemed to be the winner of the game.

Technically, Assassins doesn’t violate school district discipline code providing the activities occur outside of school hours and more than 1000 feet from school district property. That being said, today’s situation demonstrates how the school environment can be adversely affected by what students probably consider an innocent pastime. Students can be subject to school discipline for possession of dangerous objects, bullying or threats against students or personnel. The definition of a “dangerous object” includes toys that resemble knives, guns or explosive devices. The school district will be treating any incident relating to threats against students or possession of dangerous objects very seriously even if they stem from participation in a “game”. Additionally, when students were playing Assassins last year, local law enforcement responded to several complaints from community members concerned that students were dangerously running in and out of traffic or lurking in bushes near homes. Participation in the Assassins game could result in the involvement of law enforcement and any number of criminal violations.

I implore you to discuss all the implications of Assassins and consider not participating in a game that has as its purpose the “killing” of classmates and friends. This seems incredibly insensitive and damaging given the recent trend of school shootings and increased violence across our nation. I understand and support first and second amendment rights guaranteed in our Constitution but believe that we can find better ways to spend our personal time than acting as Assassins. Your support in creating a safe school climate that allows our students to devote their full attention to career and college readiness is greatly appreciated.”

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.