Messages from Principal Paul Anders

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Messages from Principal Paul Anders
Dear Washington Middle School families,

Below are copies of email communications sent to all Washington Middle School families and staff regarding an incident at the school on March 6.

Thank you!

Paul Anders

March 8, 2018
Update 5:55 p.m

Hello everyone,

I want to update you all by letting you know that late today, the author of the threatening statement written on the wall in the girls bathroom reported herself to school administration. In her admission, she said it was written in a moment of frustration and added that she had no intent to harm or threaten anyone. She said she was not thinking about the impact of the message.  The student has been emergency expelled.

We also continue to work with the Olympia Police Department. Police will do necessary follow-up with the student’s family to ensure safety.

While we are relieved that this was not a legitimate or credible threat to our school, we understand the significant impact it has had on our school community and the anxiety it created. It is, unfortunately, a lesson about how powerful words can be, especially if written hastily without forethought -- whether in a bathroom, in an email or on a social media space.  

We want to thank all of our Washington families, students, staff and Olympia Police officers for their support, assistance and understanding this week.


Paul Anders


March 7, 2018
Update 5 p.m.

Hello everyone. I just wanted to thank all of you for your patience and understanding today.  The police are continuing their investigation regarding the incident we first shared about with you last night. We will continue to keep you updated with any relevant new developments. If your student has any information that would help in the investigation, please let us know.

We know for some of you it was a difficult decision whether or not to send your student to school today. Please know that student safety at WMS is first and foremost.

It is also important for all of us to remember that we are absolutely vigilant with our planning and preparation regarding school safety. We work directly with the Olympia Police and Fire Departments and are always impressed with how well-versed our students are with our building’s emergency procedures. If you have questions or would like to read our Emergency Operations Plan in detail, please visit our school website.

I am extremely proud of how our students and staff responded today. Classroom instruction and student learning seemed to continue as normal.

Again, a heartfelt thank you for trusting us with your students. We are also thankful for our partnership with the Olympia Police Department and to the officers who spent time on our campus today. If you have any questions or there is something more we can do, please let us know. 

Thank you,
Paul Anders

March 7, 2018
Update 9 a.m.

Thank you for your understanding and support following my phone call and email message to all of you last night regarding an incident at Washington. We understand your concern, and we have done our best to share information available from Olympia police. The police department has directed us not to release any details about the statement written on the bathroom wall to preserve the integrity of the ongoing investigation. We have, however, been given permission to share with you that the message of a threatening nature was general and not directed toward any particular individual or location at the school.

School is continuing normally this morning, with the addition of several Olympia police officers on campus.

As always, feel free to contact us with any questions.


Paul Anders

March 6, 2018
Approximately 9:50 p.m.


We want you to be aware of something that came to our attention tonight. During a routine bathroom cleaning a custodian noticed a statement of a threatening nature written on a wall in one of the girls’ bathroom stalls, and an administrator immediately contacted police. Based on the initial investigation, Olympia Police officers determined at this time that the threat is not verifiable. Olympia police continue their investigation of this incident.

Subsequently, school will continue as normal tomorrow, Wednesday, March 7, 2018.  However, as a precautionary measure, we will have a police presence tomorrow on our campus throughout the day.

Your child’s well-being and safety are our highest concern, and we will always make that our priority. We appreciate your support as we stay diligent in making Washington Middle School a safe and great place to be.

If you have questions or any information about this incident, please contact me or other building administrators. Thank you.

Paul Anders, Principal