WINDHAM, Conn. (WTNH) – Windham High School dismissed students early Wednesday following a shelter-in-place order from police that locked down all other Windham Public Schools — the third threat to a Connecticut school in two days.
Windham Superintendent Tracy Youngberg released the following update on the ongoing situation:
“Windham High School will be dismissing early today. The police department will be safely escorting all Windham High School students off campus. All other Windham Public Schools will remain sheltered in place until further notice. This is at the direction of the police. We know you are concerned and we will provide updates as soon as possible. Please be assured that we are taking all precautions necessary to ensure the safety of all students.”
Police responded to the school after hearing a report about an armed intruder at 7:45 a.m.
Windham officials said the initial lockdown was announced at 8:43 a.m. Willimantic officers and officers from Eastern Connecticut State University police conducted an in-depth search of the high school building and campus with no results of an active threat or danger to students or staff.
Due to these concerns, ESCU officials enacted a shelter-in-place protocol on their campus. That ended as of 10:30 a.m.
Classes at WHS were canceled for the rest of the day.
“The safety of our students and community is our priority, and this threat will be fully investigated by the Willimantic Police with the goal of determining who is responsible for making these threats,” Willimantic Police Chief Paul Hussey said.
Students who were inside said they were scared.
“I was doing my work and all of a sudden get announcements saying that we’re in lockdown, and it was like the fear in the voice of our principal, and then we were all like shut down the lights and closed our blinds and we went into a corner,” said Emiliano Gutierrez, a junior.
Another student said she heard there was a firearm in the building.
“Our teacher told us to just stay calm, that there was a firearms in the building,” Nineliez Aguilar, a senior, said.
Parents came to the school to learn more.
“Of course I’m scared,” said Mary Elizabeth, a parent. “I just want my daughter safe.”
The street was full of students and parents who had parked their vehicles. Fights broke out among some students, causing police to get involved.
Students are scheduled to return Thursday. An increased police presence will be seen at the school, and staff will receive a debriefing.