Braden River Elementary School and Middle School were on lockdown Thursday morning due to an incident at the middle school.
School district spokesman Mike Barber said a middle school history teacher brought a Civil War-era rifle replica to show students and had previously informed the school resource officer, but the officer did not know the teacher was bringing it Thursday. Someone saw the replica and informed officials, and the schools were shut down.
Students were not in danger, Braden River Middle School principal Randy Petrilla said in a Connect-Ed phone message to parents.
A lesson from this: Barber said that if a teacher wanted to bring an item like this for show-and-tell, it should be brought in a case where no one would construe it as a weapon. In addition to the school resource officer being notified, Barber said school administration and office staff should have been informed.
The situation was all clear just before 9 a.m. ahead of the first bell, according to Barber. Parents were notified by a Connect-Ed phone message shortly after school started at 9:15 a.m.
Connect-Ed message sent to Braden River Middle School parents
“This is Randy Petrilla Principal of Braden River Middle School calling to inform our parents about an incident that took place at our school this morning and to assure all parents that at no time were our students or our school in any danger. A teacher at our school brought in a civil war era rifle for a demonstration in their class. This teacher had previously notified the school SRO that he would be bringing the rifle to school. As he was bringing the rifle into the school this morning, someone saw him and reported it to law enforcement. Law enforcement responded immediately and began searching the school and during that process it was established that the alleged threat was actually related to the teacher with the rifle. Again, I want to emphasize that everyone at school is safe and we are looking forward to having a great school day. I apologize for any unwarranted concerns this incident caused, and we will work diligently to make sure something like this does not happen again. Thank you for your understanding and your support of Braden River Middle.”