AMHERST – Tuesday’s school lockdown resulted in mixed emotions for students and parents.
Peter, a Grade-12 student at ARHS wasn’t too worried about the situation.
“Somebody thought they saw somebody with a gun,” he said, preferring not to give his last name. “It was around 9:50 (a.m.) when they announced a lockdown of the school.”
Peter was in his first period biology class when the lockdown came into effect.
“We have drills every few months, so everybody was wondering if it was fake or real,” he said. “After 40 minutes or so we started to realize it was real because fake ones usually last about 20 minutes.
“We had to stay in the class for the rest of the day. It was painful.”
It was made worse by the fact students weren’t able to use the bathroom.
“If you had to go to the bathroom you had to hold it in,” he said. “We were whining about it but after about 1 o’clock or so we were allowed to use the washroom.”
Nourishment was another issue.
“If you had your lunch in the classroom then you could eat it, but we couldn’t go to the cafeteria or anything like that,” he said.
Police also checked Peter and his male classmates for weapons at about 1 p.m.
“The police came in the classroom and announced what was happening and the guys were all metal detected.”
The fact that it was only male students who were frisked has a parent of a male ARHS student very upset.
“I was ticked when I got home and found out that it was only male students being checked,” said the woman who wished to remain anonymous. “What if there was an inside component to this and a female student was passed off something by a male?
“I was ticked that the police compromised the safety of my child today by only searching male students.”
She was out of town when she first got news of the lockdown.
“We rushed home because I wasn’t sure what the situation actually was,” she said.
Her son texted her on her cell phone and told her he was safe.
“For me, once I found out the classroom was searched I felt at ease,” she said. “But when I picked him up outside the school and learned only the male students were searched I thought, ‘Well that offered no peace of mind, I was improperly informed.’”
“Had I known only males were being checked, then nothing would be resolved because they chose to discriminate and, therefore, compromise the safety of the students.”