Students in a Long Island high school were trapped in their classrooms for six hours as their school was locked down when a student’s Nerf gun was mistaken for a real gun.
At around 7:40 AM, a 911 caller reported that they had seen a teenage male carrying a gun and a backpack near to Elmont High School in Nassau County.
Police immediately responded by sending SWAT teams and the bomb squad.
Police searched meticulously through every single bag, student and locker, only to discover that the cause of the panic was a toy Nerf gun that shoots foam darts.
Police searched the entirety of the school’s three floors before determining that the school was safe, and the lockdown was lifted shortly before 1 PM.
Junior Koiki, a student at the school told the New York Daily News that some students were physically searched by Nassau County Police.
“My teacher kept the class calm. They (cops) didn’t pat the girls down, they patted the guys down. The female teachers patted the girls,” she said.
“We just sat in our first period until the lockdown was over,” she said, adding that she wasn’t afraid. “They didn’t really tell us anything,” she said.
Schools are on edge thanks to recent school shootings, especially the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy, and don’t plan on taking any chances.
Another student, Jonothon Davis, described the scene as the SWAT teams arrived.
“There was like a lot of screaming. The teachers said be quiet,” Davis said. “Once I saw people running and screaming I knew I had to get out of there.”
“This is really scary,” said Norman Spencer, who arrived at the school to pick up his son Darien. “We’ve seen numerous reports regarding issues like this, but when it happens here, it touches home.”
Darien Spencer said that students remained calm throughout the incident, and an announcement came over the public address system to let students know that the school was in lockdown.
“At no time were any of your children in danger,” Principal John Capozzi told the parents. “All your children are safe.
“This has been very traumatic for everyone.
“If your child needs to talk to someone, don’t hesitate,” he said.
While the panic may seem like an overreaction, in this day and age, it is necessary.
James Gilbert | Elite.