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Two Brainerd schools placed on soft lockdown

A potential threat against a student and an adult led Brainerd School District officials on Wednesday morning to place two schools — Forestview Middle School and Garfield Elementary School — on soft lockdown.

Soft lockdown, according to Superintendent Steve Razidlo, means access to the schools is controlled and there are no outside playground activities.

“We don’t believe students are in danger right now,” Razidlo said early Wednesday afternoon, describing the lockdown as a precautionary move that was taken because of the possibility of a threat.

In a news release that was sent out at about 4:15 p.m. and later sent via automated phone messages to parents at about 4:30 p.m. Razidlo addressed the soft lockdown.

“At approximately 9:45 a.m. this morning Garfield Elementary and Forestview Middle Schools initiated soft lockdown procedures as a precaution while local law enforcement began formal investigation of potential threat against a single student and an adult. Soft lockdown involves controlling access to and from these buildings as well as increasing law enforcement presence near these schools.

“After further investigation, the soft lockdown was continued for the remainder of the school day. At no time were students believed to be in danger. Law enforcement presence was heightened at both buildings during the regularly scheduled dismissal.”

Forestview Middle School is located in Baxter. Garfield Elementary School is located in Brainerd.

Police officials with Brainerd Police Department and the Baxter Police Department could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon. Razidlo could not be reached for comment late Wednesday after the news release was sent out.

MIKE O’ROURKE may be reached at 855-5860 or Follow on Twitter at

Mike O'Rourke
Mike O'Rourke began his career at the Brainerd Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter. He was named city editor in 1981 and associate editor in 1999. He covers politics and writes features and editorials.
(218) 855-5860