Vermilion

Dec 19, 2012 7:15 PM by Erin Steuber

Facebook Comment Prompts Schools' Partial Lockdown

When the school board got word of the threats made overnight, they took no chances. Two gueydan schools were put on lockdown, until police could investigate.

Superintendent Randy Schexnayder says it all started with a Facebook post. A Gueydan resident posted a comment saying he had a gun, a magazine and was looking to "hurt the babies." That's all it took for the school board to take action.

"We took a precautionary action when the parent notified us about the interaction that was going on, on Facebook. When we have a situation like that we put our schools on partial lockdown," said Schexnayder.

All day, at both Gueydan High School, and Jesse Owens Elementary School, teachers continued with their normal day of instruction, but all doors were locked until police notified the school it was safe.

"We continue to tweak what we call our 'Crisis Plan' and we're continuously updating the training for the employees and the students," said Schexnayder. "They know exactly what to do, everyone knows exactly what to do."

If there were an imminent threat, there would have been an immediate order to, not only lock all the doors, but turn off the lights, hide the children and stop teaching. In either scenario, parents are notified because no one is allowed in, or out, of the school.

Schexnayder says when a situation like this arises, he tendency of parents is to pick up the phone, but he says that's the worst thing you can do.

"We're gonna make the right decisions and do the right things to protect their children, because its all about the safety of the children," said Schexnayder. "But if they're tying up phone lines now they're creating a situation that may be unsafe."

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