By Conrad Dudderar
One week after the new school year began, Yukon High School was on lockdown after a YHS graduate allegedly made threats directed at several students.
Oklahoma City’s Ethan Lowe, 18, was arrested Aug. 18 while trying to come onto school property, 1777 S Yukon Parkway.
Students informed YHS administration Thursday morning about the alleged threat, which reportedly was made by text message.
A school resource officer contacted the Yukon Police Department about 10:30 a.m. about a possible threat. Lowe allegedly wrote about bringing a handgun to the school to confront the involved students.
YHS was placed on security lockdown as information needed to identify Lowe was disseminated to responding Yukon police officers.
An officer observed Lowe standing on a grass area adjacent to S Yukon Parkway and the east entry road to the high school.
The officer took Lowe into custody without incident and no firearm was found. A knife was found on Lowe after his arrest, and he was booked into the Canadian County Jail on complaints of threatening to perform a violent act, possession of weapon on school grounds and trespassing.
“This exemplifies the seriousness of safety in our school system,” according to a YPD news release. “After the initial investigation, it was determined there was no further threat to Yukon High School and it was released from lockdown.”
YHS went into an immediate soft lockdown “out of an abundance of caution” and no visitors were allowed to enter the building, according to a statement from YPS officials.
“I just wanted to say personally how grateful I am for how well the staff reacted, how fast the police arrived, and to the students that reported it to the school,” YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth told district staff and students in an email.
“That’s how this is supposed to work, people taking care of others and not sitting idly by and doing nothing.”
Simeroth expressed gratitude to everyone who “stepped up for someone else.”
Aware of school shootings and other incidents that have occurred elsewhere, YPS administrators have increased efforts to improve security across the district for the 2022-23 school year.
Security cameras have been installed inside and outside all YPS sites, and all building entrances have secured vestibules.
Access to Yukon school buildings has been limited since the new school year began Thursday, Aug. 11.
YPS administrators, counselors, teachers, and other staff also have completed active shooter training.
YPS officials said Thursday’s threat incident is a perfect example of how school safety should work: “Hear something, see something, say something.”
The Yukon school district has four assigned SROs who provide security on district campuses.
The Yukon Police Department’s average response time to a YPS site is 40 seconds for an emergency call, Dr. Simeroth recently told YPS board members.