When an eighth-grader at Lindley Middle School reported a man wielding a knife roaming through the school Friday morning, administrators locked classroom doors, crowded children into classroom corners and called the police. The local media sent out breaking news alerts and parents subsequently rushed to the school.
Cobb school officials now say that report was false, made by a student skipping class who needed to distract administrators.
The police, after searching the school, detained the student and the school day resumed like normal.
Administrators said they can never be too safe.
“We always want to be cautious when any threat is made,” said Doug Goodwin, a spokesman for the school.
Goodwin said what was done at Lindley on Friday is the usual protocol followed if any external or internal threat is made to the safety of students.
But Friday’s incident gave metro Atlanta parents yet another fright. There have been a series of school intruders in the metro area in the past year.
Last month, Michael Brandon Hill, a mentally ill man off his medication, strolled into Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy with a hidden semi-automatic rifle and enough bullets to shoot more than half of the school’s 800 students. A bookkeeper talked him into surrendering to police.
A day later, a man with multiple knives and other weapons was found near a school in Canton.
Last school year, a student at Grady High School shot herself accidentally. Another student at Price Middle School was shot in the neck after a dispute took place in the school yard.
School officials have hired extra school resource officers, installed metal locks and begun to screen visitors.