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Wyandotte H.S. placed on lockdown over gun reports, but it turned out to be laser pointer for school project

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A student reported seeing someone bring a weapon into Wyandotte High School Thursday, prompting a scare for parents and teens.

The school immediately went on lockdown, with students and teachers turning out the lights in their rooms, locking the doors and hiding out of sight from anyone looking in the doorways.

A massive law enforcement response quickly surrounded the school, and teams of officers searched the building room by room for the person and weapon that the student reported seeing.

laserpointerAfter investigating, the sheriff's department says what the student saw was another student carrying a handheld energy audit device, that included a laser pointer. The device was being used by a group of students to measure energy efficiency in the school building. The district never sent out an alert about the lockdown. Parents who learned of the reported threat from sources other than the school district gathered outside.

"I don't know what's going on in full detail," said Tamika Pledger, a parent who serves as president of the school's Parent Teacher and Student Association.  "I just know schools are for education, not for violence, not for people to be intimidated to come to school. I'm just praying right now that everything is ok. "

Students waiting outside the school say they couldn't help but fear the worst.

"I came and I saw the police cars so i looked on Facebook and people were saying there was someone in the school but they weren't saying who or what or anything," said Shelly Matlock, senior. "I was really worried. I thought about all the school shootings that have happened in the past, and stuff. And I was really worried about my friends."

The school district's chief of staff says parents were never notified of the lockdown because school leaders weren't sure about the nature of the threat. That's one of the aspects they will review as they evaluate their response to this situation. In general, all involved were pleased that the system worked as intended as far as keeping students and staff safe.

The district says parents will be notified about what happened later Thursday. Classes resumed in the morning, and no student is being punished as a result of this incident. District leaders and law enforcement say they would rather be safe than sorry.

Initial report below:

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16 comments

  • WhySoSerious

    Wow, that looks like a gun if you live in a sci-fi movie! Nice overreaction, if you think that looks like a gun you need to actually go to a gun store and look at one! Okay liberal’s everybody freak out at the same time, “We need more gun control” because you never know when someone will be carrying a laser pointer!

    • kekluth

      I would rather our students report what looks suspicious and be wrong than not report an incident that leads to a tragedy. From afar, I could see how the probe could look like a gun. I teach at Wyandotte. I couldn’t be more proud of how our students and staff responded to today’s scare.

  • Jessica

    Well “whysoserious” you must not have kids or kids in school but I do. .have you watched the news lately?? Ya I’d rather them overreact than not react at all! Safety first..keep our kids safe. Good job to whoever the kid was the school and law enforcement!

    • Wayne

      I’m with why so serious on this one. It doesn’t even look close to a weapon. If anything it looks like a hand scanner at Walmart or an non contact thermometer. When they go to scan your dog food at the store do you run for the door thinking it’s a gun?

  • n_slash_a

    Wow, freaking out over a laser pointer. Apparently this is what they are teaching in schools these days. Anytime something scares you the correct answer is to freak out and call the cops. More government!

    How about just walk up to the student and ask them what they are holding?? How about the teacher/principle confront the student?? No… lets immediately go to RED ALERT and call in the SWAT team!!!

    Maybe you should be teaching self-reliance, critical thinking, and independence instead of how to properly wear the shackles of a police state.

    • n_justice_a

      walk up, ask what they have and get shot in the face. Of COURSE, that’s what we should teach our kids to do: provoke someone who may be dangerous! Self-reliance to prevent a possible school shooting means call the authorities to handle a situation that may be volatile. Critical thinking…I believe the student who reported this incident was doing JUST that. Not sure what to say about “independence” since being shot and killed by a fellow student makes that a moot point. Don’t blame the student(s) who reported this; blame the miscreants who have, in the past, killed harmless students. Those miscreants are wearing the shackles of murderers. You better believe that if something scares our children, CALL THE POLICE should be the first thing they think to do!

  • stargazeryankee

    thats where i go to school and as i was in the lockdown the nosey paranoid teacher of mines kept looking out the window! like we are to keep away from the window, door and keep the lights out. i swear i was glad this was not real….

  • WhySoSerious

    They had to cancel baseball practice at wyandotte today because someone mistook a baseball bat for a rocket launcher! Jessica stop living in fear you have a greater chance of getting struck by lighting while holding a winning lottery ticket while talking to bigfoot then you do of having a random gun man at your school!

  • im_in_highschool

    y r yall making it seem like its bad that the kid told because he/she was scared so what…what if it was ur kid u would be happy that they told the police officers about it

  • Mike Terrance

    What do you expect it’s crimedott County city of the wanna be thugs and violence. Pussy’s need to grow up and quite using weapon. God people are so ignorant.