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Lockdown lifted at Decatur Middle, Decatur High after threatening phone call

Police responded to the schools and students were released at about 12:45 p.m.

Posted: Dec 18, 2018 12:04 PM
Updated: Dec 18, 2018 7:19 PM

WAAY 31 spoke with students who were placed on lockdown after a threatening phone call was made to Decatur High School.

According to officials, the secretary at Decatur High answered a call from a number with a west coast area code, and the caller said they planned to come to the school with a gun. Both Decatur High and Middle School were then placed on lockdown.

WAAY 31 talked with school officials about the kind of punishment students would face if they were to make a similar threat.

Officials told us if a student were to make a threat like the one on Tuesday, they would likely face expulsion from school and criminal charges. Students we spoke with told us it's not worth it.

“The fact that people are out there that actually do things like this, it’s annoying and quite irritating," said Chandler Lewis.

Lewis is a student at Decatur High School and that was his response when he heard someone called his school and threatened to show up with a gun.

“There’s no need for it, and the fact that you put stress on other people for absolutely no reason, I feel like people like that should be locked up," Lewis said.

After investigating, Decatur Police said the threat was not credible, and officials with Decatur City Schools said there were many other schools across the nation that received similar phone calls.

“it’s annoying and disappointing, because you shouldn’t have to deal with that in everyday life, but we still go through it," said Leiland Dever.

In fact, Dever says this isn’t the first time she’s experienced something like this, saying the fake threats are becoming far too common.

“It happened a couple times at Austin High School where I went last year," she said. "We got the call and they put us into a lockdown immediately.”

Even though Tuesday’s threat wasn’t credible, school officials want to reassure parents that they will always treat these kinds of things as if they are.

“We just want individuals to know that safety is our first priority," said Deputy Superintendent of Decatur City Schools Dwight Satterfield. "We take these things very seriously, and we train constantly for situations like today.”

Many students said they're glad they've practiced for incidents like the one on Tuesday.

“I would like to appreciate them for having us all prepared," Lewis said. "I am grateful.”

Because it is exam week at Decatur High, students were supposed to be released at noon on Tuesday, but because of the threat, they weren’t able to go home for another 45 minutes. Some students told WAAY 31 the lockdown just added to the stress they already had from exams.

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