GREENWOOD, Ark. (KFSM) — An active shooter warning was sent out to Greenwood elementary school staff by mistake, causing panic Monday (Aug 26).
“Parents are literally walking their kids into classrooms and so at that point, we went into lockdown mode at Westwood,” said Greenwood School District Director of Operations Jim Caudle.
This comes just days after a warning of a possible school shooting came out by the FBI.
School officials say a message from an app used by the school went out by mistake. The alert said an active shooter was at Westwood Elementary in Greenwood during student drop-off time.
“Our staff reacted very quickly sending parents as well as students, trying to get them in a classroom and locked down as quickly as possible,” Caudle said.
Caudle says a teacher was updating the app the district uses as a form of mass communication between all faculty and staff, when the teacher accidentally hit the active shooter button. The alert only went out to district staff and no parents received this alert.
“We definitely want to try and find a positive out of a negative. I mean it’s a huge mistake what happened today, but we do want to learn from it to try to avoid it in the future,” Caudle said.
Greenwood Police Chief William Dawson says they respond appropriately no matter if it’s a drill or a serious situation. He says in regard to the threats made over the weekend of a possible school shooting somewhere in Arkansas this week, his department and school resource officers are prepared.
“We’ve seen a lot of talk on social media about whether to let your kids come to school or not. I want the parents of Greenwood to rest assured that we will have plenty of staff in place for the rest of this week to ensure that faculty and students are safe,” Dawson said.
After school today the district was meeting with Westwood staff to talk about any gaps and how they can improve their response.