Lamar HS lockdown showcases grim new reality



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Posted on January 15, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 15 at 9:19 PM

Lamar High School

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ARLINGTON — A school lockdown in Arlington on Tuesday morning left parents facing a new reality: School districts and police are venturing on the side of caution more now than ever in the wake of the recent shooting tragedy at a Connecticut elementary school.

The campus at Lamar High School was sealed off for more than three hours after a student reported to a school resource officer he had seen someone with a handgun.

While students hunkered down in classrooms, and police scoured the campus with K-9 dogs, hundreds of parents showed up looking for answers.

“This just has me so upset, I’m still shaking,” said one anxious parent.

Arlington ISD said it tried to keep parents informed by sending out a text alert and updating the school’s website. But many family members relied on sending text messages to their children locked inside the school for information, some of which later turned out to be inaccurate when no gun or suspect were located on campus after the initial scare.

“You wouldn’t think it would be happening here, but this is part of society today,” said Dee Nursey, who had a teenager inside the school.

In the wake of other campus tragedies, officials in Arlington say they aren’t taking any chances when they have reason to believe a threat is credible.

“We’ve really got to make sure everything is on spot,” said Arlington police Sgt. Chris Cook.

No gun was ever located on the Lamar campus. A supposed suspect in an orange shirt was never found, either.

The lockdown was lifted shortly after noon.

While some parents were frustrated with the outflow of information, others acknowledged that what transpired on Tuesday might become far more common as schools take enhanced precautions.

Security was expected to be heightened throughout the day as Arlington police continue to investigate.