New Albany elementary school parents got a scare Monday, Jan. 13, when the 2-5 building and other school buildings were locked down following a 911 call about a man with a gun.
The 911 caller saw a concealed-carry permit holder’s weapon when he reached into his car for an umbrella, according to Police Chief Greg Jones.
Jones said the call came in at 3:26 p.m. and the caller inaccurately said the man entered the elementary building.
Jones said two officers were inside the school building by 3:28 p.m. when it was locked down, and another officer had the man with the weapon unarmed and in custody by 3:36 p.m.
Jones said it was a difficult situation at first because school was dismissing and students, teachers and parents were inside the building, students were sitting on buses and students and parents were in the parking lot.
Jones said the scene was cleared by the school at 3:49 p.m.
The man is not being charged with any wrongdoing because the concealed-carry permit allows him to have a weapon in a school safety zone if he is dropping off or picking up a child, Jones said.
He did, however, appear to violate district policy, which states, “the board of education prohibits visitors from possessing, storing, making or using a weapon, including a concealed weapon, in a school safety zone and any setting that is under the control and supervision of the board for the purpose of school activities approved and authorized by the board including, but not limited to, property leased, owned or contracted for by the board, a school-sponsored event or in a board-owned vehicle.”
The policy also says the superintendent can “exclude the visitor from board property and board-sponsored events, regardless of whether such visitor possesses a valid concealed-weapon license.”
District spokesman Patrick Gallaway said no action has been taken against the parent at this time.
“We’ve not determined that it warrants action,” Gallaway said.
He said district officials may use it as a “teaching moment” and meet with the parent and talk to other parents about what is acceptable and what is not acceptable on the school district campus.
Gallaway said many parents called the district about the incident.
The school has a response team in place to deal with any children or adults who have issues dealing with the situation, he said.
The lockdown included all school buildings and the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts.