Facebook posts prompt lockdown

Burbank schools were on alert this morning but no threats were made, officials said.

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BURBANK -- Racially charged posts on social media prompted a district-wide lockdown in the Columbia School District in Burbank this morning.

The lockdown, which ended around 11 a.m., was a precautionary measure according to Columbia Burbank High School Principal Kyle Miller, and none of the posts on Facebook contained threats to students or the district.

"There was absolutely nothing threatening," Miller said, adding concern from parents and students over the "extremely derogatory and insensitive postings," prompted the lockdown.

Miller stated an unnamed person, believed to be possibly a Pasco resident in late teens or early 20s, created a Facebook profile using a racial slur as a profile moniker. The anonymous poster requested friends of multiple students in the Columbia district, and then began the racially charged diatribe.

School district officials notified Walla Walla County Sheriff's officials Monday night, according to Miller, and several deputies were present during the lockdown this morning.

"They've been on board since the get go," Miller said. "I know the deputies did a huge amount of digging."

Miller said the identity of the person who started the Facebook rant is still unknown, but the person appears to know a number of students within the district and surrounding areas.

Luke Hegdal can be reached at lukehegdal@wwub.com or 526-8326.

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