Community Responds to Lone Tree School Lockdown

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

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By Jill Kasparie

LONE TREE, Iowa - The Lone Tree School went on lockdown Monday morning when a student wearing a mask tried to get in the building with a knife.

Thanks to two quick-thinking administrators, the threat was eliminated quickly. There was an altercation when the superintendent and a high school administrator stopped Daniel Jansen, 18, from entering the school. No students were hurt in the ordeal.

Staff at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics evaluated Jansen on Monday. He does not face any charges yet, but that may change.

Parents, students and the overall Lone Tree community have mixed feelings of relief and concern. It was a tough day for many people. The parents and students experienced something they never thought they’d go through in Lone Tree.

It was the typical scene at the end of the school day in Lone Tree. You’d never know the start of the day was much different.

“It’s Lone Tree, it’s a small town, you never expect this to happen but you never know with people, so it can happen anywhere, so expect it,” said Lone Tree Mother Ashley Keep.

Parents and grandparents did what they do best today: They worried about their kids. It was a frightening situation for them as they learned what happened.

“Scared, very, very scared,” said Lone Tree Grandmother Laurie Lenz.

Many received a text from the school about the lockdown, but for some that wasn’t enough.

“I called about seven times. Me and a friend of mine were trying to get ahold of the school so they were probably answering all of the other parents calls too,” Keep said.

Immediately rumors started flying.

“One rumor was that there had been a shooting and then there was the rumor that there was an intruder in the school that had a weapon but it was not a gun,” Lenz said.

Some picked up their kids as soon as they heard about the lockdown.

“She came in and said she said that she wanted to get me out of school and the administrators understood,” said Lone Tree Sophomore Samantha Davies.

Students said they thought it was a drill, but through it all they said their teachers handled the situation well.

“They just told us to keep calm and not to worry about it, and everything was going to be fine,” said Lone Tree Sophomore Drew Sorensen.

Tomorrow is another day, but many said they would ever forget today.

“This isn’t just something that happens today and is gone tomorrow, this is going to stay in the memories of all of these children, you know, especially for the highschoolers, they will have this memory for the rest of their lives,” said Lone Tree Mother Tabitha Calderon.

The superintendent said he still doesn’t know why Jansen brought a knife to school. He said, however, that he hopes the student is getting the help he needs.
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