Covington Catholic High School reopens under heavy police presence

PARK HILLS, KY - (FOX19) - Covington Catholic High School has reopened for the first time since a weekend incident between some of its students and Native Americans in Washington, D.C. that gained national attention.

Extra security is in place as students go into the building Wednesday morning.

Several Park Hills police vehicles arrived before dawn and remain parked around the outside of the school, particularly in front.

Covington Catholic High School was closed Tuesday due to security concerns. Extra security was to be in place then, too, after threats were made against the school and its students over the weekend.

“After meeting with local authorities, we have made the decision to cancel school and be closed on Tuesday, January 22, in order to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” reads a letter to them from the school’s principal, Robert Rowe.

“All activities on campus will be cancelled for the entire day and evening. Students, parents, faculty and staff are not to be on campus for any reason. Please continue to keep the Covington Catholic Community in your prayers.”

The school and the Diocese of Covington announced in a statement Tuesday an independent investigation was being launched into what transpired in our nation’s capital.

“Concerning the incident in Washington, D.C., between Covington Catholic students, Elder Nathan Phillips and Black Hebrew Israelites the independent, third-party investigation is planned to begin this week. This is a very serious matter that has already permanently altered the lives of many people. It is important for us to gather the facts that will allow us to determine what corrective actions, if any, are appropriate,” the statement reads.

They thanked officers for their protection and said the school would reopen “when law enforcement says it is safe to do so.”

Then, Tuesday night, calls and emails went out to parents informing them classes would resume Wednesday.

Videos have been shared all weekend of an incident involving Covington Catholic students.

The initial video showed the now-self identified Nick Sandmann, a junior at CovCath, standing in front of Nathan Phillips, an indigenous man who was participating in the Indigenous Peoples March.

A scheduled protest by the American Indian Movement Chapter of Indiana and Kentucky was held on Tuesday at the Diocese of Covington.

It was moved from the school to the Diocese after threats were made to the school and its students, authorities have said.

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An investigation remains underway into those threats.

“On Monday afternoon the Covington police alerted us that they had intelligence concerning a planned protest, Jan. 22, at Covington Catholic High School and a vigil at the Diocesan Curia. Due to threats of violence and the possibility of large crowds the Diocese was advised to close Covington Catholic High School, the Diocesan Curia and neighboring Covington Latin School,” the statement says.

Officials from the Diocese of Covington and Covington Catholic High School say they will have no further statements until the investigation is complete.

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