Lockdown lifted after one hour | RecordCourier.com

Lockdown lifted after one hour

by Sheila Gardner

Douglas High School was locked down for an hour Friday after a school deputy received an e-mail that there would be a shooting at the school.

About one dozen Douglas County sheriff’s officers arrived at the school shortly before 1 p.m. and searched the buildings and grounds before determining there was no threat to the school’s 1,500 students and staff.

“Sometime after lunch we had a report from a couple of students that there might be some students coming on to our campus with guns,” said Principal Marty Swisher. “We went into lockdown and secured the campus.”

Swisher said deputies checked the school’s 70 to 80 classrooms either in person or by telephone to determine there were no intruders on campus.

“Teachers secured the rooms and kept the students away from windows and doors. The students were fine in the four or five classrooms I visited,” Swisher said.

According to sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Tom Mezzetta, at 12:52 p.m., Deputy Greg Shields opened an e-mail sent to him that warned of a shooting on campus.

Deputies swept the buildings and grounds as the school’s 1,434 students and 125 staff remained in their classrooms.

No one was allowed to enter or exit the campus buildings.

“The sheriff’s department searched every nook and cranny before we came out of lockdown,” Swisher said.

The incident came one day after a student was injured during a gang-related fight in the school commons.

“We don’t know if it’s in response to yesterday’s altercation,” Mezzetta said.

Swisher said it was the first time the school was placed in lockdown after many drills and he was pleased with how the system worked.

“I feel very positive about it,” he said. “We’ve asked the students if they feel unsafe and have information to please report it and that’s what happened.

“Obviously, we’re concerned about instructional time, but our lockdown system worked very well to insure the safety and welfare of all our students and staff.”

He also complimented parents, some of whom received text messages from their children about the situation.

“Nobody panicked,” Swisher said.

Deputies remained on campus and in the area after school was dismissed.

“We want to make sure everyone gets off campus safely,” Mezzetta said.