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CovCath closed until police say it's safe to reopen, school officials say

Posted: 7:39 AM, Jan 22, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-22 19:53:47Z
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An alert was sent out Tuesday morning to parents of Covington Catholic High School students which said the school would be closed Tuesday in order to keep the students and faculty safe. It wasn't immediately clear when the school would reopen.

RELATED: CovCath principal promises independent, third-party investigation

The closure comes after numerous threatening posts were made online after a video emerged online showing a Native American elder playing a hand drum in the midst of a crowd of CovCath students.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Diocese of Covington and the school said police alerted them to a demonstration planned at the school and advised them to close "due to threats of violence and the possibility of large crowds."

"We thank law enforcement officers for their protection and will reopen when they say it is safe to do so," officials said in the written statement.

Both the Native American elder, Nathan Philips, and the main student in the video, Nick Sandmann, have released statements about the incident.

Each statement agrees the confrontation began when a third group of people yelled racial and homophobic slurs at the CovCath students. Philips then steps between the two groups, and this is where accounts deviate.

RELATED: Multiple videos show different angles of incident.

Many people have weighed in on the videos and the incident, including President Donald Trump.

A statement made Monday night by Covington Catholic High School principal Robert Rowe said an "independent third-party investigator” will look into the Washington, D.C. incident. School and diocese officials said on Tuesday that the investigation will begin this week.

"This is a very serious matter that has already permanently altered the lives of many people," officials said in a written statement. "It is important for us to gather the facts that will allow us to determine what corrective actions, if any, are appropriate."

WCPO is still working to identify credible sources associated with this story. If anyone is interested in speaking to WCPO about this matter, please email us at newsdesk@wcpo.com.