Active shooter hoax triggers real fear among parents

NOW: Active shooter hoax triggers real fear among parents

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- A call came in Tuesday to the South Bend Police, claiming an active shooter was at Success Academy off Ardmore Trail. Luckily, police quickly learned the call was fake.

But although this threat turned out to be a hoax, the fear the students, staff and parents felt is still very real.

Adrienne Allmon has a third-grade son at Success Academy. She said she was driving when her mother called, letting her know of a post she saw on the South Bend Police Department’s (SBPD) Facebook.

“My heart immediately dropped,” Allmon said. “It’s so scary to have it be a realization that this can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time.”

SBPD confirmed the caller has been identified and located. The caller, a juvenile, is not a student at Success Academy. SBPD is working with the Juvenile Justice Center on this case.

When the call first came in, around 12:30 p.m. according to SBPD, the school immediately went on lockdown and officers responded.

“The minute I heard that this was happening, I was on my way to the school,” Allmon said.

Police said after responding and surveilling the whole school, they quickly learned it was a false alarm.

But everyone involved still had to deal with the very real fear.

“My son said that he prayed that nobody was hurt,” Allmon said, “because he thought that it was real at the time.”

“Whether it was real or not, her emotions are still going to be valid,” said another Success Academy parent, Faith Conine.

Conine has three kids at Success Academy, and said she is most worried about the impact this will have on her kindergartener.

“With a kindergartener, it’s harder to go, ‘okay, I know you just had to sit under your desk and be completely quiet for however long it was for, but everything’s fine,’” Conine said. “There are bad things out in the world, but I don’t think that they should be exposed to that, as young as they are.”

Some parents, like Allmon, wish the school had notified parents sooner of the threat.

Many, however, are glad the police took the threat seriously and responded immediately.

“With all the current events and the shooting in Uvalde and how poorly the police handled that situation, I felt that it was important to thank South Bend police,” said parent Lasheema Fordi.

Fordi said she automatically started crying when she got the notification and picked up her son early from school, as many other parents did as well.

“I also have a son in high school at Career Academy and appreciate [the police] being on campus to make sure everything is going smooth and our kids are safe!” Fordi said.

Parents were notified via Class Dojo of the hoax at roughly 1:30 p.m. in a statement that read in part, “when Success Academy was made aware of the threat, we locked down immediately and accounted for all students and staff.”

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