BALTIMORE (WJZ) —A big scare for students and parents at a Baltimore county school after someone reported a threat to the school involving a gun. Derek Valcourt explains why Milford Mill Academy was quickly placed on lockdown.
A report of a threat against Milford Mill Academy caused panic for nearly two hours. Ultimately, the report was labeled a prank and an awful trick all based on rumors.
At 11:09 a.m. on Wednesday, police received information that there was a gun inside of Milford Mill Academy located at 3800 Washington Ave. The building was placed in lockdown mode on information about a possible threat involving a gun.
“Everybody was scared,” student, Takiyah Harper said. “I was scared myself and then the teachers made us go under the desks and stuff.”
Police said this began as rumors amongst a group of students that someone was going to shoot up the school. According to police, someone took a picture of a 15-year-old student with disabilities and started spreading the rumor that they were the kid that would shoot up the school.
“A 15-year-old ninth grader who has special needs came into the school and stood in the lobby for approximately 10 minutes,” Cpl. John Wachter with Baltimore County police said. “Someone took a picture of him and this picture got on social media with the rumor that this is the person who has come to shoot up the school and that’s what caused this thing to snowball.”
Police found the photographed kid and determined he was not a threat.
Students took pictures while police investigated the reports and searched the school for a weapon. According to police, there was never concern of a shooter in the school.
After searching the school for about two hours, Milford Mill Academy was downgraded from lockdown to alert status. No gun had been found and police determined the threat to be a hoax.
Police are still investigating how the rumor about the threat started. They said they may never know the source of the rumors.
Parents were advised to go to the Giant parking lot at 3602 Milford Mill Rd where police were available with information.
Some parents were not happy with how the school handled the situation.
“Didn’t even call nobody, inform the parents that there children were in danger,” one parent said.
Some parents complained they learned of the lockdown through friends or social media, bu t not through the school system.
“I have an app on my phone called BCPS an d they send out alerts and anything is going on and I never got the alert,” another parent said. “I checked it and there’s still nothing on their website about what’s going on at this school.”
A Baltimore County school spokesperson told WJZ that they probably could’ve done a better job of notifying parents about the lockdown situation. They said they’ll try to learn from an assessment of what happened. Meanwhile, they stress they will push forward with the prosecution of anyone found responsible for a hoax at one of their schools.
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