NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A high school in New Haven was dismissed early Tuesday after police said they found a suspicious bag.
The superintendent said the Co-Operative Arts & Humanities High School on College Street was placed in lockdown at around 9 a.m. because of the possibility of a weapon inside the school.
New Haven police responded immediately, and officers searched the building with K9s. Police Chief Karl Jacobson said they found the bag in question but did not find a weapon.
All students and staff are safe, New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson said. The lockdown was lifted around noon.
Police said extra security will be in place Wednesday at the school.
Ashia Wheeler, the parent of two students, said she was “a wreck” during the lockdown.
“I’m just trying to keep it together,” she said.
She was able to pick up her children after hours of waiting.
“Our babies are being reunited with us, and that’s all I’m worried about, is that all these babies are getting to their parents safely,” Wheeler said. “I got mine.”
During the search, police found a 14-year-old student to be in possession of a knife. Police said the student was arrested and charged with possessing a dangerous weapon.
There have been multiple scares at schools in New Haven this year, including just last month when shots were fired in the parking lot outside of John Daniels School after dismissal.
Jacobson said police are looking at policies to find any gaps.
“Obviously, there was a gap today, and we are going to fix it,” he said.
Mayor Justin Elicker said more security is something he’d like to see more of, but there are critical staff shortages within the department.
“We are very deliberate about where we put those guards to make sure in those places we think there is a potential risk that we have security guards, but we are still working to hire security guards, and it’s a very hard thing to hire for right now,” he said.
Meanwhile, parents are still concerned.
“I just want my kids safe at all times,” Wheeler said. “If it were up to me, I would homeschool them. I don’t feel safe with them being back in this building.”
The video below aired in our 5 p.m. newscast on May 23, 2023.