Students claim they were told actual lockdown was a ‘drill’

schenectady-high-school

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Police said two juveniles were charged in connection to an incident involving an imitation handgun at a local school Thursday afternoon.

Police swarmed the streets and halls of Schenectady High School Thursday. But according to students and parents, they weren’t made aware of what was happening.

“We were just doing work, and all of a sudden, they’re, like, okay it’s a lockdown, but it’s a drill,” freshman Deceane Martinez-Keeney said.

Several other students agreed with Martinez-Keeney. They said they were told over the intercom that the school was conducting a “drill.”

“It happens. We have drills all the time, so it’s not a big deal,” junior Victoria Johnston said.

But what students thought was a drill turned out to be a “big deal.”

“About a quarter to three, we received a call for an individual with a weapon – potentially a handgun – on school grounds,” Schenectady Sgt. Matt Dearing said.

Dearing said the school was placed on lockdown, and officers detained two male juveniles who were possibly involved in an incident. One imitation handgun was recovered.

“Obviously, treat everything like it’s real and has the potential to be very, very real, so any and every officer who was available at the time was here on scene,” Dearing said.

Although police only found an imitation gun, Dearing said it looked very realistic. He said carrying one is dangerous.

“You put a lot of people at risk,” he said.

The spokesperson for Schenectady City School District told NEWS10 ABC the principal told her she wasn’t in the building at the time or aware of the lockdown being called a “drill,” but she is looking into it.

The spokesperson added the district plans to send an e-mail to parents on Friday.

But Martinez-Keeney’s mom said parents should have been informed immediately.

“Doesn’t matter if it was imitation,” Deceane Keeney-Gamez said. “They should have called us; every single parent.”

As for her daughter, she has one main concern.

“We should have been informed,” Martinez-Keeney said. “We should have been ready.”

Police said both juveniles were charged with Unlawful Possession of a Weapon of a Firearm by Someone Under 16 and Unlawful Possession of an Air Pistol or BB Gun in the City.

Both were released to the supervision of their parents. The case will be handled in family court.

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