WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – Two southern West Virginia schools have gone into lock down in the past week, leaving many parents wondering what a lock down means.
“I mean, there’s been schools that’s been shot up so you don’t know,” said parent Jeremy Usey. “I just wanted my kid because I can guarantee her safety if she’s with me. They couldn’t guarantee her safety.”
Woodrow Wilson High School was placed on lock down Friday morning after a Facebook post threatened a school shooting. In some cases students evacuate the building, but officials told Woodrow Wilson students to barricade themselves in the classrooms.
“I didn’t think it was that serious, but now people are barricading the door,” Hailey Usey said in a text message to her father. “Everyone is panicking in the classroom.”
After finding out about the situation, parents fled to the school to pick their children up. When Usey arrived to pick up his daughter, school official told him that they were on lock down and she couldn’t leave the classroom.
Princeton High School faced a similar situation on Thursday when someone reported a bomb threat. In that case, students evacuated before the police swept through the property. The difference in the lockdowns may have been due to the nature of the threats.
“You don’t know who is a threat and who is not a threat,” said Detective Eric Pugh from Princeton Police Department. “An active shooter in a school situation, the perpetrator is [normally] a student, so we have to identify the threat and take measures to remove the threat.”
During lockdowns, parents and students are often clueless as to what is going on. Pugh said that’s not an accident.
“We get the people don’t necessarily understand, but I don’t want to get anyone hurt,” said Pugh. “I don’t want to get one of my officers hurt or the child hurt. The same ways that [parents and students] can monitor social media [for information], so can people with ill intentions like bad guys.”
Pugh further explained that perpetrators could potentially use information made public against the police’s efforts. Still, Usey said she believes better communication may have counteracted the panic.
Authorities are still investigating the Princeton High School and Woodrow Wilson High School threats.