British Jewish school put on lockdown over security threat

Students at a Jewish school were kept on premises after hours while police increased their presence in the area. 

By World Israel News staff

Students at Kantor King Solomon high school in Essex, England, were locked down at the end of the day Monday as a security threat nearby was assessed, to the distress of parents.

In a letter seen by the JC, headteacher Hannele Reece explained that two separate sources had advised the school there would be a threat to students’ safety at the end of the day.

“Unfortunately, this came very close to the end of the day, and I was left with almost no decision-making time,” she added.

Parents were alerted via an email advising them that students were being kept behind due to a security threat. One parent told the JC that the incident was “unusual for a school like Kantor King Solomon, because of the reputation it has for tight security.”

In conjunction with the Community Security Trust and local police, Reece opted to lock down the school to give police time to increase their presence on the street in the area.

“It also gave us the time to secure a police dispersal order which meant that any person simply “hanging around” would be legally required to move on. By using the alternative gate and staggering the release of students we allowed students to disperse more easily and took the students away from the location of the threat,” she wrote.

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Although parents voiced concerns that the threat might be antisemitism or terror related, the CST indicated that it was more likely to be an instance of antisocial criminality in the area.

Reece noted in her letter: “There was an incident of dangerous and threatening behavior outside the swimming pool however this did not involve any of our students or staff.”

The CST told the JC: “CST received a report from King Solomon school of a threat to the safety of their students, and we worked closely with the school and their on-site security team to advise on their response. At this stage we do not believe the threat to be antisemitic or terror-related, but we will continue to assist the school in their investigation of what occurred.”