Fountain Valley News - Your Hometown Community Newspaper

Lockdown alarm at Watson prompts investigation

 

Last updated 9/23/2022 at 12:35pm

Karin Hill

Concerned parents lined up outside Watson Junior High to hear the latest updates on the situation Friday morning, and some signed their students out for the day after the false alarm scare.

Parents and students at Watson Junior High experienced a scare Friday morning, as the school was emptied after a lockdown alarm apparently was erroneously triggered.

District officials said early on that they believed the alarm malfunctioned, but a full-scale law enforcement response ensued "out of an abundance of caution."

"We are extremely thankful that today's situation was only a malfunctioning alarm that triggered a lockdown," a statement to Watson families read. "Everyone in our building was safe and secure through the entire event."

According to the statement, the alarm went off early in the day and it was determined to be malfunctioning.

Karin Hill

There was a heavy police presence all around the Watson Junior High campus for a few hours Friday morning as security teams investigated the lockdown alarm.

"Out of an abundance of caution, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office (ESPO), the Fountain Police Department (FPD), and WSD3 Safety & Security responded and did a thorough investigation. The investigation included going to each room in the building to ensure everyone was indeed safe. There was no threat to the building. Students and staff were safe and eventually returned to their normal school schedule. All school activities for today will continue as normal."

The Sheriff's Office also put out a statement on social media early on emphasizing that there was no active shooter.

However, some parents waited in a long line at the front of the school to sign their students out after what they described as a frightening ordeal. The school acknowledged the fear and stress the situation caused for many.

"We know situations like this, whether real or false, are distressing," the school statement said. "We immediately activated our crisis response team to provide mental health assistance to students and staff. We will continue to have counselors available next week at school"

Officials thanked police and security teams for their swift response.

 

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