Emily: Mom, we are in internal lockdown and I am not sure what's happening.
Me: Are you in a safe place?
Then I realized I should stop texting until I heard from her just in case she needed to be quiet. I was calm and rational and simply waited on a reply. When I didn't get one I took to Facebook to see if any other parents knew what was going on. I finally got a reply that there was a bomb threat. Then I got a text reply from Emily.
Emily: Yes, I am in a safe place.
Me: Okay must just be someone in the area because Medlin is on lockdown too
Emily: Oh Okay
Emily: Mom there are police at our school
Me: Emily it's a bomb threat
Emily: At the school???
Me: Yes. Just stay put and if you need me to come up I will. I am sure this is just a joke. They will sweep the building and they will leave. It will be fine.
Then the texts continued when Emily heard it may be a gunman. She was scared and I assured her she was in the best hiding place. Emily ever the comedian texted me, "Mom, I could really use the OA right now," We have discussed the possible steps to take if she was in an active shooter situation and she took every step. She was locked in the costume closet in the Theater at the school. She spent 4 hours in that dark room with her friends texting me and waiting on information. Here was a picture she took of a friend.
She said the school did a great job of making her feel safe with their announcements and updates. My husband and I both left work and went to the school to wait on her release. While we were on the corner with hundreds of other parents the scene was quite surreal. No one was panicked, no one was crying, no one was yelling, in fact everyone was quiet. We talked in hushed tones among ourselves and my husband turned on his police scanner. Every major city in our area had SWAT, police, fire engines, and ambulance on scene. Then more SWAT showed up with lights flashing as seen below.
At that point we began to get a little antsy but we still stayed on our little corner anxiously waiting to hear information. Mike continued to listen to the scanner and at times the scanner didn't match the information we were being given. However the school and law enforcement did an amazing job yesterday. We are eternally grateful for their services and prompt response.
The hours stretched on and we kept hearing they were attempting an evacuation. First it was to the football field, then to Wal Mart, then to the middle school. We noticed dozens upon dozens of school buses begin line the dusk filled street.
More time went by. The FBI pulled in, more police, and then a law enforcement official with a K9 came towards our group. She explained the school would be evacuated floor by floor. Just then Emily texted they were being told to power off all phones and they would be leaving. For informational purposes and because were were not sure what happened I told Emily there could be a reason they were having them turn off their phones. I explained that they may see a scene that could be concerning when they are escorted out or it may just be to move them quickly. I wanted her to be prepared at all costs and she said she was. Emily is always calm and collected and was ever filled with grace as usual.
The parents waited in two lines parallel to each other in front of the football fields on the way to the buses. The officers kept telling us to grab our children once we saw them, otherwise the students would proceed to the buses. Slowly the kids and teachers started streaming out in a single file line across the field and on to the paved path. Mike and I scanned the crowds for Emily looking at each young girl one by one. Since Emily left after me in the morning I wasn't sure if she wore her hair up or down. I quickly looked through all the pony tails, buns, and long straight hair. That's when I noticed a single tear was rolling down my cheek. I knew Emily was fine but I thought about the parents who had lost children in school tragedies. How they must have desperately searched each child's face with hope and dread. We were very lucky and thankful. Emily is safe at home and we are counting our blessings. After losing a child recently something like this can seem like a giant mountain eclipsing you in stress. Emily is shaken but she will recover and be just fine.
There are two stories as to what happened and various news sources are reporting different things. I won't go into details here but I will state one included just a phone call and one an actual suspect in custody. We will wait to hear the full report before believing any rumors of false information.
My husband did an interview for the new in the midst of the event and I am very proud of him. If you would like to see the piece here it is. http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Lockdown-at-Trophy-Club-Schools-After-Alleged-Bomb-Threat-412200653.html
Mike said he felt like life saw my post yesterday and something evil manifested itself to try to bring fear back into our lives. Not today Satan, not today!