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Officials: 2 schools cleared after lockdown; ‘no active threat’

Safety procedures properly implemented at Seventy-First High, CCS says


(Editor's note: This story has been updated to include more details about the incident.)

A student at Seventy-First High School reported to a teacher that a suspicious person was on campus shortly after 9 a.m. Friday, but school administrators and law enforcement officers determined that there was no threat to safety, according to the Fayetteville Police Department.

The teacher initiated protocols  in place for a possible threat, and school resource officers began investigating, a news release said.

A spokesman for Cumberland County Schools said that both Seventy-First High and Seventy-First Classical Middle School were placed on lockdown. The schools are next to each other in the 6700 and 6800 blocks of Raeford Road.

Officers with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, administrators of Seventy-First High School, and the Cumberland County Schools Safety and Security Office viewed video footage and identified the subject as a school staff member, according to the news release.

 While the high school was on lockdown, several students contacted their parents and gave them erroneous information, the release said. That led to several 911 calls about a possible shooter at the school.

The release said there was never a legitimate threat at Seventy-First High and no shots were fired Friday.

At least one text message to the 911 center during the lockdown had a reference to shots fired, said Sgt. Alpha Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the Police Department. There was no active shooter at the school, the Police Department said. 

Seventy-First High School received a report of an unknown person on campus, reported it to law enforcement, and placed the school on lockdown “out of an abundance of caution,’’ school district spokesman Lindsay Whitley said.

The middle school was placed on lockdown because of its proximity to the high school, he said.

Members of the Police Department and the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office responded to search the high school, Whitley said.

"We are thankful that our lockdown plan worked exactly as it should and that all students and staff are safe," said Whitley in a news release. "We take all threats seriously. We are grateful to our school officials who took the appropriate actions, and we are thankful for our law enforcement partners who responded quickly."  

Cumberland County Schools, lockdown, Fayetteville Police Department