UPDATE: Interim Principal, Roger Jackson, spoke with MCNTV News regarding the incident today and he stated that he called the lock-down after an older teenage male entered the school’s office and was visibly shaken. The teen stated that while he was walking in the neighborhood near the school, another person came up to him and pulled a handgun on him and he ran to the schools office for help.
“My first instinct was to protect our children,” said Principal Jackson, “and so I put the school on lock-down and immediately called Atwater PD and our District office.”
Atwater PD were able to quickly respond and secure. “I know that parents want us to call them right away and depending on the level of danger, we will,” Principal Jackson said. “But the APD had cleared the area and had taken the teen away for more questioning so we needed to take care of business and at that time it was to get the children home from school for the day safely. After we had done that, we then sent out a statement to parents regarding what had happened today. In no way were we trying to hide anything from our student’s parents and they should all know that I’d go down before any of our kids.”
ATWATER, CA – There has always been a debate as to who needs to know what when a school goes on lock-down and many parents become very concerned especially with the violence that has occurred on school campuses across our nation. Some schools send out a text alert specifying what information they have and what parents should do. Others never inform the parents which creates a sense of distrust with the ones who are entrusted with our children.
Just after 1 pm, Bellevue Elementary went on lock-down due to an alleged person running from Atwater PD officers. The subject was also allegedly seen trying to get into one of the parked cars, but this information has not yet been verified.
Parents have tried to get more information from school officials, but are only told that the school can’t disclose the information.
MCNTV News called the Atwater PD and left a message for their public information officer to call us back. We also called and spoke with one of the principals at the school who said that the school does not send out an alert unless it knows for sure that there is an emergency. We asked for information as to why the school was placed on lock-down and he said that the school will send out a statement soon notifying parents of what happened and what the school did to ensure the children were safe.
We also called the Atwater Elementary Schools Superintendent to find out what is the schools protocol when a lock-down occurs. They were in a meeting and we hope to hear from them soon.