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Safety on top of SCS, parents minds

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 5:08 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Security is on the top of minds of Shelby County Schools parents and officials. While the district hires safety experts to review all its security protocols, three schools were put on lockdown after police got a call of a possible threat of a person on campus with a gun on Friday.

Kingsbury High, Middle and Elementary schools were put on a precautionary lockdown Friday morning after Memphis Police got a call form security at the high school about the potential threat.

“I came here because my daughter called and said they were on lockdown,” one parent said outside Kingsbury High School “I asked why are you on lockdown. She said it’s not a drill.”

Hundreds of parents showed up to Kingsbury High School to pick up their kids after they got word of the school being on lockdown. Memphis Police confirmed they investigated a possible threat of a person on campus with a gun, but found no credible threat or weapons at the school.

As parents worked to find out what was going on, many were eager to get their children home. Shelby County Schools gave parents the option to dismiss their children early.

“I just came here as quick as I could,” grandparent Rosemary Wilson said.

“I got my child,” one parent said.

SCS officials said schools are often put on precautionary lockdowns when there may be a perceived threat, even at times during criminal investigations off campus but nearby.

It’s just one part of a full safety plan the district wants reviewed by safety experts. Thursday Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray said former MPD Director Toney Armstrong is reviewing that plan.

Ray said the review will include a look at what’s currently in place, having Armstrong assist during training sessions and even help revisit the idea of a Peace Force- an armed school police force, replacing the resource officers already in schools.

Parents said after hearing of the school shooting at Cummings K-8 Optional they know something like that could happen anywhere.

“It’s real now. Look at all those parents,” A Kingsbury High School parent said.

SCS said a robocall didn’t go out to Kingsbury families during the school day since a confirmed threat was not found, but one did go out after dismissal.

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