Families get letter explaining lockdown at Rise Up Academy


Several days after Rise Up Academy was placed on lockdown, families got a letter explaining why.

According to the letter from Principal George Azar, security found ammunition in a student's backpack the afternoon of March 5.

A "lockdown inside" procedure was implemented while security searched the building, including lockers, bags, cars and students.

Initially, some students thought it was only a drill.

"The teacher told me she wasn't sure of what was going on, if it was real or if it wasn't," said Jennyfer O'Banion, who was a Rise Up student at the time.

After the extensive search, security found no additional threats and students left the building safely at the end of the day.

But, Jennyfer says they had little information about what prompted the lockdown, which concerned her family.

"I asked her what happened, she said ,'I don't know.'" said Jennyfer's grandmother, Gloria O'Banion. "She said, 'They didn't tell nothing.' So, I thought, 'Wow. Maybe they'll call me or tell me something.'"

But, Gloria says the school did nothing to alert parents until about a week after the incident.

The letter sent out to families was dated March 7, but Gloria claims she didn't receive it until March 12.

"It came [March 12] in the mail and it said a kid had ammunition. I said, 'Wow, he could have shot up the building and everything.'"

Gloria says when it comes to students' safety, the school should inform families about threats or lockdowns by the next day, especially with the number of school shootings in the last year.

But, Jennyfer says despite the delay in notifying parents, Rise Up handled the scary situation well.

"I think, given the opportunity, if he wasn't caught, he would have done something," she said of the student who had the ammunition. "They did pretty decent."

The letter sent to parents didn't detail how the student was disciplined.

NewsCenter 16 is working to find out more.


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