Last Thursday, Classical magnet School at 85 Woodland Street was put into a "CODE RED" security lock down. A Code Red is usually for the most serious security issues at schools. If nothing else, this Code Red will hopefully identify and correct some serious policy issues within the Hartford Schools.
According to sources, the Principal at Classical Magnet was not in the school building at the time of the lock down. The vice principal was attempting to keep the "senior prank" from happening that day. As a result, she came up with the brilliant idea of calling a "Code Red" lock down to keep the students in their classrooms and under strict control.
Apparently that plan backfired with serious repercussions. The School Administration never notified anyone they were instituting a Code Red. After it backfired there were numerous excuses made. Students were told it was a lock down because someone had climbed onto the roof. Eventually an e-mail was sent to parents that it was a planned "drill" and no one was notified because they wanted it to be as realistic as possible. Good cover story.
The problem was that students inside the school began calling and texting their parents by cell phones that something was wrong in the school and they were in lock down. Concerned parents began calling the school to find out what was going on. For some reason, no one in the school office were answering the phones.
Concerned parents then began calling the Hartford Police telling them that something was wrong and they couldn't contact the school. Hartford 911 Dispatchers tried calling the school and no one answered. A simple phone call from the school to the Dispatch Center advising them of the drill initially seems like it would have been a wise move first. Actually it seems like that should be a basic policy before any drill, fire security or otherwise.
In this day and age, the worst was in every one's mind and numerous Hartford Police Officers were immediately dispatched to the school for the unknown reason for the Code Red.. One HPD source told me that at least 8 patrol cars were dispatched to the school and at least 8 to 10 officers.
Anytime you have armed Police Officers being dispatched to a possible active shooter situation and responding at high speeds with lights and sirens going, the potential is there for disaster. All of which could have been avoided with a little common sense planning.
Add to that the fact of armed police officers were then searching the school with weapons drawn thinking they are looking for an armed suspect. This has to be traumatic to students seeing this activity as well as the the danger to someone who might come around a corner quickly and be mistaken for an intruder.
The matter is currently being handled Administratively by both HPD and the Hartford Schools
Maybe the senior prank would have been the better and less dangerous outcome
The e-mail explanation sent to parents is below
SCN_0019 on ScribdLuckily , HPD trains their officers to respond properly to active shooter situations and the situation was resolved without any accidents or mishaps but it could have potentially been much worse.
The fact that there have been several explanation from the school administration, and none of them being the truth so far, is disheartening. The administration even went so far Monday as blaming the students since it was their fault because they advised their parents of the situation and the parents over-reacted.
Maybe the senior prank would have been the better, less dangerous outcome.