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It was likely a confusing and scary situation for some Shallotte Middle School parents last week when the school was placed on lockdown Feb. 18 just before the school day began.
As buses and vehicles arrived at the school, students were turned away and sent to West Brunswick High School, where they were directed to wait in the school’s gym.
On the morning of Feb. 18, a parent reported a student had received a threatening text message. School officials believed it was serious enough to warrant the lockdown.
After the school was locked down and students who were already inside the building were secured, the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office and the Shallotte Police Department searched the school before clearing it around 8 a.m. After that, students were allowed into the building, but they were directed to the gym.
Once inside, law enforcement officials checked every student’s book bag. Each locker was also searched.
The good news is the searches found only one potentially harmful device and that was a cigarette lighter.
By about 9:30 a.m., students were able to start classes, and thankfully no one was hurt.
School violence, unfortunately, happens far too often. It was good to see the school district’s safety plans put into action and executed well.
While there may have been some delays, ultimately, the best thing happened—all students were kept safe.
It’s good to know when faced with such situations, the school district and local law enforcement agencies are poised to immediately take control of the situation.
This also serves as an important reminder that parents and students should take threats seriously and report them to school or law enforcement officials. We would much rather hear about delays and searches than to ultimately have to report on a tragedy.
Good work, Shallotte Middle School and area law enforcement teams. May we always be well prepared to keep our students safe.