Communication issues after gun scare at local school

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 5:54 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2023 at 6:33 PM CST
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BROOKLAND, Ark. (KAIT) - After a scare in the Brookland School District last week led to a technology mishap that the school is thankful was just a false alarm as parents hope it doesn’t happen again.

“I got a call saying, mom, you just need to know, don’t freak out but there is a possible active shooter on campus,” Morgan Dale said.

Dale is a parent at the Brookland School District and that was the call she got from her daughter on Thursday.

“At that point, I just stopped everything, and I told my boss I got to go,” Dale said.

Dale’s daughter called her from the bathroom during a lockdown, this came after a junior ROTC student was walking through the hall with their rifle out of uniform. The student was spotted by a security guard in the new Brookland command center who didn’t know he was ROTC.

“The gentleman that runs the command center wasn’t aware of that and had not been informed of that and so we went into soft lockdown,” Brett Bunch.

Superintendent Brett Bunch and his staff knew the parents were worried, so they reached out saying the situation was handled, or at least they thought they did.

“We felt like or thought we had alerted them last Thursday because we immediately went on and sent a message but found out later from parents that message didn’t go out,” Bunch said.

The school uses a third-party service to get the message out to everyone in the district but had not been informed that the service was not working until after Thursday’s scare. After it was determined there was no threat kids went back to class and the day continued as Bunch said he is fortunate this mistake happened when it did.

“One good thing about this was that we found this out before something major, major, major happened,” Bunch said.

Brookland schools said their text message system is back up and running and they will continue to test it throughout the year.