USA Today reports the Broward County school system in Florida was under lockdown the morning of Nov. 10 when a credible threat to the lives of students and teachers was received. The action came after a woman called a local radio station and said her husband wanted to go to a school and start shooting. The Broward County Sheriff’s Department took the threat “very seriously” and locked down every school in the district. The lockdown was lifted in the mid-afternoon hours. Broward County says all the students are safe. With 257,000 students and 300 schools, Broward County boasts the largest school system in the United States.
My own children know what it’s like to be under lockdown, even in Flyspeck, Missouri. Back in November of 2006, the Branson Public Schools locked everyone in and out after a person called to say they would start shooting.
The original threat was specified to be a shooting at Branson High School to begin at 9 a.m.. However, as a precaution, all of the schools were locked down just to be sure. My daughter was in junior high at the time and my son was still in elementary school. The lockdown was scary for both of them at first.
Once their teachers got the news from administrators at the school, they immediately stopped the lesson and made sure all the door and windows were locked. Both teachers took the added step of pulling the blinds closed on the windows so no one could look into the classroom.
At one point, my son’s teacher also instructed them to be quiet so they could listen for further instructions if need be. My daughter’s teacher also turned off the lights in the classroom so as to prevent anyone from being seen from the outside.
While it was scary, during the few hours of the lockdown time, both of my kids said they felt their teachers knew what they were doing. No one panicked and everyone remained calm.
This was a time before our kids had cell phones and before many kids in school had their own mobile devices. We didn’t hear about the lockdown until later that afternoon when the school called everyone’s parents.
We talked to our kids afterward to make sure they felt okay. Nothing came of the incident, thankfully, but I was reassured to know my kids are safe, even when a threat is made in such a small-time atmosphere as Branson.
When faced with a lockdown situation, parents should remain calm. Schools will tell you what they can when they can, but the first priority will be everyone’s safety.
USA Today, “Lockdown on Broward County schools lifted after threat”.
“Branson Area Schools on Lockdown”, bransonmissouri.missourinetizen.com.
“Branson Public Schools”