Tuckerman and Swifton schools in Jackson County were on lock down for roughly three hours Wednesday. Following a threat made to a Tuckerman High School student on Snapchat, loosely reading “don’t go to school today. I’m going to shoot it up.”
“It was scary at first….and how small we are, I never expected, due to how small we are, that we’d get a threat like that,” say Na’kyla Mitchell and Chloe Chapman who are students at Tuckerman High School.
Jackson County Schools Superintendent Chester Shannon called for the lockdown and authorities shortly before 8am. Multiple law enforcement agencies responded, including the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Blocking off roads and deploying a dog to sniff for weapons.
“The biggest point of concern is the safety of the students. When you get that, you hope it isn’t a real threat. But you have to react like it is,” says Shannon. “Once that sets in, and you think about it...it’s just an awful feeling.”
The lockdown was called off once the threat was traced to Nebraska. In a debriefing, Tuckerman Police Chief Justin Collom reflected on how authorities responded to the threat, and how students, teachers and parents can assist moving forward.
“Once the school is placed on lockdown; it’s placed on lockdown for safety. We’re not letting anyone in or off the campus,” says Collom. “And as long as we don’t have a whole lot of moving on the campus, then it’ll make our job a lot easier. And we can get it done a lot quicker. And a lot safer for everyone involved.”
The next step for the Jackson County School District is working with law enforcement officials to finalize a crisis response plan to address similar situations in the future.
The FBI has been called into the investigation, which is ongoing.