Active Shooter Alert False Alarm

No students or faculty injured, no danger on campus at any point

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Juniors Dionte Collier and Katheryn VIvar barricade the door in AP U.S. History teacher Amber Leaton's room during a false alarm lockdown April 6. The alarm was accidentally triggered by a teacher using the Rave Panic Button app. | Photo Abby Hagner

Julia Nall, Print Editor

Last updated at 11:52 a.m. Will continue to be updated as new information arises.

At 10:26 a.m., a notification went out to faculty via text and email that there was an active shooter on campus between Building 10 and Building 18. Faculty were instructed to put their classrooms on lockdown. The lockdown lasted for approximately two minutes before campus was declared all clear.

As part of an emergency preparedness program, the school has RAVE Panic Button, a mobile application that teachers and staff can use to report active shooters. A teacher accidentally sent a report, and an alert went out immediately. There was never an active shooter on campus.

“I really freaked out,” U.S. History teacher Tammy Brantley said. “We barricaded the door and hid in the corner. [Assistant principal Eric] Andrews and [assistant principal Julie] Long came up and said it was a mistake.”

According to principal Dr. Todd Edwards, administration dispersed across campus to look for the reported shooter and secure students who were out of class at the time. They quickly realized it was a false alarm. They reached the teacher who sent the notification, who was on the phone with 911 at the time clarifying that the report was, in fact, an accident.

Administrators meet with parents after the false alarm lockdown April 6. The alarm was triggered by a teacher using the Rave Panic Button app. | Photo Dahlia Bray

“There was never a threat on campus,” Edwards said. “We did not know that when it was triggered. We treated it as real, we assumed it was real.”

By the time the “all clear” had been sent out, students from Building 2 had already evacuated campus and police were on the scene. Police response time was less than a minute. Individuals spotted on the roof of Building 10 were responding to the incident, though students mistook them for the alleged shooter.

According to Edwards, this type of incident is not uncommon. Conway Public Schools, where he was previously principal, also used the RAVE app, and they faced multiple false alarm situations before “working out the kinks.” Administration will meet at lunch to discuss what can be done to prevent another false alarm and to evaluate the preparedness of the school.

Senior Sidney Shipe was in a class with a long-term substitute teacher. They were unaware of the lockdown until they saw students running off campus.

Sophomores Emily Hall and Mika Boyle run away from Building 2 during the false alarm active shooter situation April 6. | Photo Kara Boyle

Junior Amber Broadhurst was in math teacher Dr. Andrea Sadler’s Pre-AP Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry class at the time of the lockdown.

“Dr. Sadler normally keeps her phone in her cabinet drawer, and her computer is faced away from her while she teaches,” Broadhurst said. “She just happened to be on her phone and saw it. Otherwise, we would have worked right through [the lockdown] without even knowing.”

Students and faculty were shaken by the ordeal.

“We’re going to take this opportunity to debrief the admin team,” Edwards said. “I’m going to take input from the teachers. We’re going to look at what if this had been a real shooter, what did we do well, and what could we do better.”