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.
After 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: