Students and school officials respond to Day School lockdown - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Students and school officials respond to Day School lockdown

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A threatening phone call forced a lock down of students and staff at Evansville Day School Monday morning.

Dozens of officers swarmed the school, searching for what they were told was a person with a gun.

School officials say the receptionist received a phone call that indicated there was a subject inside the school with a gun. She immediately came over the PA system and told staff and students they were under lockdown, but students didn't immediately realize it wasn't a drill.

"The call that came in said that somebody was in the school with a gun, we never received a report of shots fired or of anybody being specifically being threatened with a gun," Sgt. Jason Cullum, with EPD, said.

Students hid under desks and in closets while officers started their extensive search.

"Every room in this school was searched, every closet, every bathroom, every classroom," Neil Saunders said. Saunders is the Co-Interim Director at EDS.

But students say they were initially told it was all just a drill.

"They told us it was a drill at first, but then whenever all the cars pulled up, they said it was an actual drill, so we all actually got down and just stayed quiet," student Brevin Tilmon said.

Tilmon says he was in study hall when some students started to break down and says students began to comfort one another.

From a parking lot just south of the school, parents shared text messages they were receiving from their children who were inside the school with other concerned parents.

The school says it does have an alert system, but it was not used on Monday.

"Our most immediate concern is the safety of our school children and personnel. Notifying parents is not a high priority immediately," Saunders told 14 News.

Saunders says they take care of business first, which in this case, was safety.

School officials say the majority of students in the primary school were released to their parents and the majority of students in the middle and high school stayed for the rest of the day.

"I think we did everything that we could or should have done," Saunders said.

Parents say they heard about the situation on the radio or from friends and they say as parents they expected to be the first notified.

Details on why the alert system wasn't used will be discussed during a debriefing with Evansville Police and an internal review of procedures.

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