Lockdown lifted after scare in Wantagh, New York

Stacey Sager has the story
November 8, 2013 2:34:09 PM PST
Students at a high school and middle school in Wantagh were on lock-down after a teacher thought she overheard a student say they had a gun.

The lockdown was lifted just before noon on Friday.

A student was overheard talking about a weapon at the school when the teacher reported it. Police officials came and went through lockers making sure there was no weapon.

A plastic toy gun was recovered inside the locker of a student.

Parents rushed to the school to try and communicate with their children who were inside.

"I got a phone call from a friend and then I texted my son and he said he didn't know what was going on but he was locked in the classroom with the lights off," said one parent.

Students were told it was only a drill so a lot of them were confused, feeling they should've been notified on what was going on.

"Because all our teachers were like, this obviously isn't a drill, everyone's parents were calling and saying, 'are you safe?'", said student Nick Coppola.

"As there was no immediate threat to students and staff the high school principal was advised by the Nassau County Police Department to announce the situation as a drill." the school district announced.

Parents also expressed frustration for not hearing from the district until an hour into the incident.

"I definitely think that we should have been notified instead of hearing our kids call us and tell us that they're scared," said Debby Bruno, parent of a 9th grader.

With so much use of cell phones, information was flowing quickly from students and parents gathering outside the school, texting their children.

"He texted me back and said 'I cannot talk, we're in a lockdown, we're in the back of the classroom. Supposedly there's someone in the school with a gun," said Barbara Muller, the parent of a 10th-grader.

In reality, it was only 'talk' of a gun, and eventually parents got a voicemail from the district:

"As a precaution, the middle school and high school were been placed on lockdown. The police are conducting an investigation following a comment overheard alleging that a student has a weapon in school. All students will remain inside their classrooms continuing to study until the lockdown has been lifted. At no time has the safety and security of students and staff been compromised. "

The whole lockdown scenario is more and more common, cops say, as schools struggle to take the right precaustions.

"Good thing we did, because God forbid something did happen. So I'm actually happy we did," said Wantagh senior Lauren Coppola.