JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Johnson City Schools’ top safety official said the response to false reports of an active shooter went “as well as you can expect.”
“The big thing that we want people to be aware of if this would have been a real event, we had the police department on site with under a minute,” Greg Wallace, the district’s supervisor of safety and mental health, told News Channel 11.
Science Hill High School was one of four area schools to receive false reports of an active shooter on Wednesday.
Officials with Johnson City Schools said city police received a fake phone call suggesting that there was an active shooter on Science Hill’s campus and that six students had been shot at 11:07 a.m.
“They immediately coordinated with our SRO, who said there’s no such incident on this campus,” said Wallace. “But by that time, obviously, because they’re trained to respond and did an amazing job responding. They were rolling to come up to campus to mitigate that threat as soon as possible.”
The building was put in soft lockdown and cleared by school staff at 11:40 a.m., Wallace said.
Though a true threat never materialized on campus, the call gave school and law enforcement officials a chance to practice their processes for a real-life crisis.
“We’ve already talked with the police department several times, we’ve had our meetings administratively to talk about what we do well, in a situation like this, what are some things that we could have enhanced and done better,” Wallace said.
For students and parents, the threats are still cause for concern.
“I contacted my child, and, of course, it bothers her and she’s scared too,” Science Hill parent Lisa Hughes told News Channel 11.
Wallace said he hopes families are reassured by the district’s constantly evolving plan to handle crisis situations.
“We want people to know, if they’re thinking about it, it’s going to be taken seriously and dealt with seriously,” Wallace said. “But also we want people to know, just in general that we’ve there’s a lot of things that are going on behind the scenes to make sure students are safe in our system.”