Updated (4:30 p.m.)
A bomb threat was called in to Lee County High School this afternoon, forcing a lockdown of the school while law enforcement officials conducted a search.
Lee County Sheriff Brian Estes said the call came from an 800 number at about 12:20 p.m., and the threat “didn’t appear to be credible.” Still, school administration, school resource officers and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office communicated and determined that the school would be locked down to investigate.
In collaboration with law enforcement, the district decided that students would be dismissed at 2 pm. All students were safely dismissed, and after further investigation, the phone call was determined to have been a hoax.
“The safety of students and staff remains our top priority, and we will continue to review this matter and take appropriate steps in response,” the district said in a statement.
The lockdown led to parents lining up outside and across from the school, several reporting receiving calls and text messages from their students inside. The sheriff’s office assured the public in a social media post at 12:48 p.m., 28 minutes after the called-in threat, that the incident did not involve an active shooter.
Several posts on social media from parents have included stories of students barricading their classrooms or crouching behind books and desks for fear of an active shooter. One parent wrote that her daughter saw “SWAT team members” running through the hallways before she understood the lockdown was due to a bomb threat.
One parent (who asked not to have her name published) standing outside of the school waiting for her child to be released told The Rant: “[My son] texted me and said he was barricaded in a classroom. Barricaded. One classmate was in the closet, another was in the bathroom. That didn’t sound like a bomb threat to us.”
Rant reader Jessi Hill provided video (published below) that shows, in the background, students leaving Lee County High School through windows this afternoon during the lockdown. A second video (below) shows parents lined up outside of the school waiting for their children to be released.