Centerton Parents Notified Of School Lockdown One Day Later

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CENTERTON (KFSM)- Parents whose children go to Gamble Elementary School in Centerton were notified on Friday (Nov. 14) about a school lockdown that happened on Thursday (Nov. 13).

On Thursday morning, a school bus driver found a suspicious item on the bus after all students were dropped off at Gamble Elementary, according to Bentonville School District spokesman Paul Stolt. School administrators were notified, a school resource officer was called in to check whether the suspicious item was a threat to students and staff and the building was put on a brief lockdown, according to Stolt. The school resource officer, provided by the Bentonville Police Department, was called in from Lincoln Junior High School.

Stolt said lockdown procedures generally involve gathering all students in the corner of their classrooms, turning off the lights and closing the doors.

Gamble Elementary administrators made the decision not to send an alert to parents on Thursday, but after hearing from concerned parents, administrators sent a letter home with students on Friday to explain what had happened, Stolt said.

The letter from Principal Cathy Hancock stated the lockdown lasted fewer than five minutes while administrators verified whether there was a problem on the bus, which was parked in the parking lot at Gamble Elementary.

You can read the full letter here.

Stolt said the school should have notified parents about the incident and the school district is now reviewing its procedures to tighten its alert system.

According to Stolt, when a school in the Bentonville School District decides to alert parents to an incident at its building, the administration at the given school notifies the school district, which then sends an alert to parents of the children who go to that given school.