Gene Witt Elementary School has altered its security arrangements since Tuesday evening as a precaution, according to school officials.
A phone message that went out to parents of Witt students Tuesday evening from principal David Marshall said the move is “out of an abundance of caution.” He also told parents “(t)here has been no direct or implied threat against our school.”
Mike Barber, Manatee County School District spokesman said someone associated with the school community is related to a person who is wanted by out-of-state law enforcement.
Barber said the school is not officially under a lockdown but has made “minor alterations” to its security procedures. For example, students are holding recess indoors and not outdoors.
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Manatee County Sheriff’s deputies are present at Witt Elementary, 200 Rye Road E., should the man come to the area.
“The feeling is, that because he’s related to people here in Manatee County, that he may show up in Manatee County so we have a police presence at the school in case he shows up,” Barber said.
Barber explained that it is unclear if the man is even in the state and it’s unclear how long the security changes at the school could last.
It’s not a standard situation, Barber admitted, so there is no protocol for something like this. What is standard, is when there is law enforcement activity near a school, the building will be locked down until law enforcement has the suspect in custody, he said.
There is no direct threat to the school, Barber said.