EXETER — Police locked down a school in Luzerne County Thursday morning after a note threatening violence was found in a bathroom.
Parents in the Wyoming Area School District were alerted to the situation around 8:30 a.m. when they received a call from the school.
Parents say the school told them no gun was found, but there was a threatening message.
Worried parents shared tense phone calls during a lockdown at Wyoming Area Secondary School Thursday morning, desperate to know how their children inside were doing.
Hours later they were finally able to hold each other close.
“I was really scared. I kept texting my mom. I was really scared,” said student Christine Vogel.
The school was on lockdown because a message was written on the bathroom wall, saying “I have a gun and I’m shooting up the school, goodbye.”
Parents stayed glued to their phones for updates after getting a call from the district in the morning about a possible threat.
“I’m going crazy, knowing she’s in there and I can’t get to her and she can’t come out. I just wish that they’d let us know what’s really going on and let the kids out if there’s no more threat,” said Donna Vogel of Exeter.
“We’re only hearing rumors from what kids are telling us but they said they had someone in custody, then they said there might be a weapon. Then we got a call that said there wasn’t, so we don’t know,” said Sandy McCracken of Harding.
Police with dogs searched the school. Students said there were metal detectors, too.
“Security within a school like this is a very hard topic because we don’t expect to have to be on lockdown. We don’t expect to have to make it a prison. However, we do have to take care of these most precious resources,” said school board president Elizabeth Gober-Mangan.
By late morning, parents got a second call from the district saying no gun was found and a suspect was identified. The Luzerne County D.A.’s office has also been contacted.
Students were let out around 1:30 p.m. and five hours of worrying and waiting had come to an end.
“We heard kids jumping up and down upstairs and stuff. We couldn’t really hear because everyone got so excited. When they repeated what they said, it was so nice to get out,” Christine Vogel said.