A gun scare at Commack High School on Monday caused mass confusion as rumors spread about a supposed assault weapon being in the building.
In the end, the alleged weapon was only a toy pellet gun that a student found while on his way to school, but when several cop cars showed up at the school that morning, students feared something much worse. Rumors that the school was on lockdown spread like widfire on social media as students tweeted and posted on Facebook, looking for answers.
"Is Commack on lockdown? I can't tell by all of these tweets!!" one student posted on Twitter.
The school district did put out a robo call and posted a statement on its website that the air gun was inoperable and that the building was safe a short time after the incident was resolved. At the same time, the district also notified parents that Suffolk County police arrested the 17-year-old, who was charged with a violation of bringing an unlawful weapon into a school.
While parents and community members received the verification that the school was safe, many students said that they had received no information from administrators within the building and remained fearful that an armed person was roaming the halls and classrooms.
"We saw teachers security guards and cops running around our school telling us everything is fine when it clearly is not fine. I think communication is key in a situation like such, and the lack of it is what caused this to be such a problem," commented one Commack High School student, adding that the school should have been in lockdown mode immediately after there was tought to be a gun in the building.
Drawing from the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., another student agreed.
"We didn't know the gun was airsoft or inoperable, we just knew there was a gun in the building. That is completely reason enough to freak out! And do not tell us it's nothing to be worried about when the kid gets taken out in handcuffs and there are a bunch of cop cars outside and security guards posted everywhere."
Diane Kraut commented on Facebook that the students should have been given the same information as parents to ease the confusion.
"I think the district did an amazing job of letting the parents know what happened. However, I think they could have done a better job informing the students. I understand not letting the students know what was happening while the incident was taking place, but after the fact they should have given the students more information than that 'an incident happened and it was taken care of.' Doing so would have eliminated a lot of the rumors and also the anxiety some students felt because they did not know what had actually happened," she said.
How well do you think the district handled the gun scare incident? Share your thoughts in the comments below.