4-hour lockdown ends at St. Cloud High School

- Frayed nerves were felt, and intense words were spoken in Saint Cloud Thursday evening.  Georgette Powell, the parent of tenth-grader at the school said, “I’m very upset."  

Powell was more than 100 parents who waited anxiously for their children, during a roughly 4-hour lockdown at Saint Cloud High School. "I can’t believe this is happening," Powell added. "We moved from Miami to get away from this, and this is happening in Saint Cloud? Wow!”

Saint Cloud police spokesperson, Sergeant Denise Roberts said the school got information via social media sites Periscope and Snapchat that “an act of violence” would happen in seventh period in the courtyard. Osceola Public Schools spokesperson Dana Schafer said the threat was serious enough to call police and lock down the school as a precaution Thursday afternoon.  “It’s very scary," said parent Shawna Turnbull. "Especially for Saint Cloud. It’s a little small town.”

Sergeant Roberts says over a dozen officers searched nine campus buildings and individually searched 2,400 students and their book bags. Nothing was found and all students were safe the entire time.  Another parent, Carlos Crespo, said “That’s good to know. That's refreshing."

Just before 6 p.m., the lockdown was lifted and an officer with Saint Cloud Police opened the gates. A crowd of cheering and clapping parents quickly walked through the open gates to the school.  “It’s a beautiful thing," said parent James Robichaud, who was one of the first people to get his child from within the school.  "I was nervous at first," he admitted.

Turnbull and many other parents were finally able to get their child Thursday evening, after the hours-long lockdown.  “It feels wonderful, after waiting what, like four hours?" Turnbull said with a smile on her face. "[I am] very happy and very pleased.”

Osceola Public Schools said there was another threat made Wednesday. That threat turned out to not be credible, but that was why extra police were at the school Thursday morning, ahead of the threat made Thursday afternoon. Saint Cloud Police said it is actively investigating the social media threats.
 

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