Phoned threat prompts precautionary lockdowns at Bardstown Middle, High School


Wednesday, March 1, 2023 — Bardstown High School and Bardstown Middle School were temporarily placed on lockdowns as a precautionary measure Wednesday afternoon after a threat toward the schools was received by the local dispatch center.

In a letter to families from Bardstown City Schools Superintendent Ryan Clark, the schools were placed on lockdown at about 2:15 p.m.

Officers from the City of Bardstown and Nelson County Sheriff’s Office responded to assist the school’s resource officer to investigate the alleged threat.

No threat was found, and officers issued an all-clear, though officers maintained a presence on the campus until students were dismissed.

The Bardstown Fire Department and Kentucky State Police also responded to the scene.

MEDIA CONFUSION. On social media, PLG-TV took considerable criticism from parents and family members of district students for their initial post about the incident.

The post, since deleted, allegedly said officers were responding to “an active shooter” at the school campus. PLG said they received the information from E-911 Dispatch, though that claim was rebuffed in a social media post by Shawn Gaither, the dispatch center’s director.

In his post, Gaither states that at 2:03 p.m., the dispatch center “received a call from an unknown subject stating he was at Bardstown High School with a rifle and firebombs. The subject stated he was going to shoot everyone he sees and blow up the school.”

Gaither notes that the dispatch center’s policy is to never give out information to the public about an incident except to first responders who are working at the scene of the incident

“During the incident, PLG-13 made a post on Facebook (which has since been taken down) stating they received confirmation from Nelson County Dispatch of an active shooter at Bardstown High School.

“As the Director of Nelson County E-911 Dispatch, this was not the case and goes against policy we have in place. All calls are recorded, not only on a separate server but also at the console at which the dispatcher works. The audio is saved and can be accessed at any time.

“I apologize for any misinformation released to the public and in no way support this misinformation.”

Later Wednesday, PLG issues an apology on its Facebook page:

“In our attempt to get information out quickly to the community, we failed to verify information we were given through credible sources and also failed to follow our journalistic standard. We regret this incident and any discomfort it may have caused the community and we are addressing it to avoid any such occurrences in the future.”


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