ROXANA, IL (KTVI) - What proved to be a false text message from a student to a parent saying shots had been fired at the Roxana Junior Senior High School put the building and 950 students on lockdown Tuesday. Roxana Police learned of the message just after one pm. Officers from at least ten police departments responded to the small community just south of Wood River.
Anxious parents waited at the nearby Church of the Nazarene parking lot for word that they could pick up their children. Many had first learned of the problem when their students sent them text messages.
"This is very emotionally stressing for me," said Tanea Berry, the parent of a fourteen year old freshman. "This is crazy you have 500 parents out here about to have a panic attack over an April Fool`s joke."
Students in the cafeteria were told to evacuate to a park and community center nearby.
"People were jumping the fences, people were freaking out, scared cause we thought we were going to get shot," said Devn Reinke, a freshman.
Other students remained in their locked classrooms, huddled away from the doors.
By 2:20pm it became clear there were no shots fired. School administrators announced students would leave school on a normal schedule and made arrangements to handle the heavy traffic as worried parents lined up to pick up their youngsters.
Roxana`s Chief of Police Will Cunningham called the text message a 'very serious mistake.' He will discuss possible charges with the Madison County State`s Attorney. Roxana District Supt. Debra Kreutztrager promised to work with law enforcement to determine what school consequences might be enforced. She praised the police who responded and her staff for following all the district procedures for an intruder on campus.
The District Superintendent sent this statement in release to the media, "The Jr./Sr. High went on lockdown this afternoon due to a text message that was sent from a student stating that there were shots fired at the High School. Local responders took action immediately to initiate lock-down procedures. Local responders from all area police forces were on campus quickly to address the situation. The student was found and it is confirmed that there were NO Shots fired. All students are returning to their regular schedules. A special thank you to our staff and local responders for their quick action today."
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