ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – An unannounced Code Red drill was held Thursday at Lake Brantley High School, and there's conflicting stories about what sent students scrambling across campus.
Videos and photos were posted to social media after the drill showing students running in the cafeteria. Parents also took to social media to complain about the incident, claiming some children were injured.
Lake Brantley High School posted a message on its Facebook page.
Dear Lake Brantley Families,
(Thursday) morning at approximately 10:21am, LBHS conducted a Code Red drill on our campus, performance by Seminole County Sheriff's Office. This was only a drill to continue to practice for the security and safety of our students.
One student shared a screenshot of a message that was circulated on social media that read, "Active shooter reported at Brantley/Building 1/Building 2 and other buildings by B Shafer at 10:21:45. Initiate a Code Red Lockdown." School district officials said that notification was sent to teachers during the drill.
District officials said the school resource officer was the only person who knew the drill would take place. Parents were notified that it was a drill about an hour later.
District officials said after the drill, during lunch, a student shared the screenshot of the message that teachers had received during the drill and "pranked" other students, making them think the threat was real.
District officials said the prank prompted chaos and panic in the school cafeteria.
Student Miqueas Roselot said students were running for their lives.
"Everyone was booking it. No one was walking. We jumped fences. A friend of mine almost twisted an ankle. Everyone was running. In the cafeteria, people were getting trampled. A friend of mine fell. It was chaos," Roselot said.
Lake Brantley High School junior Sabrina Bonadio said at least three of her classmates had panic attacks because they thought they were in danger during the drill.
"We as students understand that drills are important, but the way that this was conducted -- and just by emotional impact alone -- was horrendous," Bonadio said. "I myself had to call my father in tears explaining the situation."
She added that many of the students didn't hear that it was a drill when an announcement was made over an intercom system.
A senior at the school, who asked to remain anonymous, texted her family "I love you" and "I'm scared." Her family told her to be careful, hide and stay away from the windows.
"It was a very emotional and terrifying day for students, parents,and teachers at Lake Brantley, and the circumstances intended to 'prepare' the students, were highly inappropriate and caused high levels of extensive emotional damage," she said.
A video posted on Snapchat showed students running and scrambling in the school's cafeteria, but officials said that was likely because someone may have yelled "active shooter" and that panic was not related to the drill itself, officials said.
Seminole County Public Schools also said that no students were injured on campus, but an ambulance did arrive to treat a teacher who experienced a panic attack.
District officials said they are reviewing what happened during Thursday's drill and the cafeteria incident, which they said were unrelated. The district is also looking into how a student got a screenshot of the drill notification, which was only intended for teachers.
The district is also reviewing its notification process, saying it usually notifies parents about drills immediately after the drill is over, not an hour later.
A parent responding to the school's Facebook message said: "Nothing is more terrifying than getting a text from your daughter who is hiding in her classroom having a complete anxiety attack." She said it was the wrong way to practice safety.
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