WANTAGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island high school was locked down for several hours Friday as police investigated rumors of a student with a gun.
Police were called to Wantagh High School just after 9 a.m. after a student told a school official that another student had said something about bringing a gun to school.
Emergency services were called in to search the school, which was placed on lockdown.
Anxious parents rushed to the scene after hearing from their kids who were locked in their classrooms.
“My daughter just texted me and told me that she’s locked in a classroom for two hours and she’s starving,” one parent said. “I don’t know what to make of any of this.”
Students said they were told that it was a drill and knew nothing about a gun, CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
“She’s been texting me and the first thing that she said to me was after the bell rang and she was missing math she knew it was no longer a drill,” another parent said.
The first call to parents went out some two hours after the lockdown began.
“The police are conducting an investigation following a comment overheard that a student had a weapon in school,” a robo-call message said.
The lockdown was lifted around 11:30 a.m. shortly after the call went out. No weapon was found.
Many parents were upset because they said they were given very little information.
“I understand the school’s point, too. They want to keep it quiet and they don’t want to get everybody crazy because it’s just a rumor, but you still gotta notify parents and let us know what’s going on,” another parent said.
Students said they should have been given more information during the lockdown.
“Our principal did not make us feel safe because when she was on the loud speaker she sounded panicked, so everyone picked up nervous energy from her and she was gasping with every breath,” senior Emily McLane said.
Some students said their classrooms didn’t lock during the incident, Gusoff reported.
“There’s no locks on our doors. So, if an intruder did try to attack us, what happens then?” one student said.
The district superintendent said that safety was not compromised during the incident and that security protocols were activated the moment officials were told about the potential gun.
A student who had a toy gun in a locker was suspended but authorities could not identify the student who was overheard saying that he had a gun in school.
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