West Henderson High School went under a code yellow lockdown on Thursday, Oct. 18 after a resident of a nearby neighborhood called to report a bear sighting.
The resident notified the school’s front desk about the incident, and, in turn, the front desk notified Assistant Principal Joni Allison and other staff at approximately 11:40 a.m.
“When [the front office] let us know, we decided to go ahead and bring everybody inside,” Allison said. “We…communicated with [the staff] and said, ‘Look. Everybody stay inside, there’s a bear in the neighborhood.’”
After everyone was informed to stay inside the building, there was a second report about a possible gunshot. This results from the fact that it is currently bear season.
After the report of a possible gunshot, the code yellow lockdown was issued. It took effect at approximately 12 p.m. and the school was communicating with the police.
“We are in contact with, obviously, the sheriff’s department, and so they will contact their other agencies and their other resources,” Allison said. “So our job right now is to maintain the safety and the security and the [calmness] on this campus. We’re going to allow those other agencies to do what they do best.”
The lockdown was lifted at approximately 12:40 p.m. after Principal Shannon Auten notified the school over the intercom. According to Lead Teacher Emily Young, the bear had moved off the school campus, causing the lift of the lockdown.
Some students felt inconvenienced by the bear’s presence.
“I think it [was] a bunch of nonsense because I don’t believe any bears are going to come near the school. I don’t think it would be any threat so I think they’re making a massive deal out of absolutely nothing,” junior Gabe Brittain said. “It made me very angry having to hear ‘bear’ every five seconds. Otherwise, it didn’t impact me at all except I had to sit inside [for lunch].”
By: Graham Grush, Sports Editor, and Elise Trexler, Web Editor-in-Chief