WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) — Parents were terrified Friday when Windsor Locks schools went into lockdown.
“I was nervous, I was worried, but I was happy to hear that things went as well as they did,” said Kylee Christianson, a parent.
At least 18 schools across the state were victims of “swatting” calls Friday, which took place around the same time that thousands of officers were attending a funeral for two fallen Bristol officers. Swatting is when a person lies to police about there being active shooters at schools.
The calls provoke a large police response — and fear.
Officers arrived within 90 seconds of getting the call, according to Windsor Locks First Selectman Paul Harrington.
But once everything gets the “all clear,” parents want to know.
“I would like to see a little bit better of a plan on the communication process and what parents can expect,” Christianson said.
Getting information immediately out to parents can be difficult, according to Superintendent Shawn Parkhurst.
“We run the battle of social media and scanners getting the information long before we can even get the information out,” he said. “So, we know we need to improve communication. We are looking at a multitude of different ways to do that.”
Part of what makes things difficult is the large-scale response a swatting incident brings.
Parkhurst encourages parents to follow the district on social media, because that’s where the most accurate information will be.
Part of a proposed solution is educating parents on how to find up-to-date, correct information on school safety responses. Another is upgrading a school-wide app.
“It allows the teachers to lock the building down from their classroom, any teacher in the building,” Harrington said. “That is phenomenal. After talking to a lot of the officers, when scenes like this go on, seconds matter, and you want to buy as much time as you can.”