A scare that put Smiths Station East Elementary on lock down and high alert Thursday afternoon turned out to be a false alarm, said Lee County Schools Superintendent James McCoy.
Around 2:30 p.m. students were in physical education outside of the school when one of the students thought they saw someone on the woods line carrying a long object, McCoy said. He stopped short of saying it appeared to be a gun, but he said school officials took the information seriously.
The school district was contacted and the elementary school was placed on lock down and high alert by a Lee County sheriff’s deputy who is assigned to patrol the school, McCoy said.
“They thought they saw something long,” he said. “It could have been staff or something, we didn’t know at the time,” he said.
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It took about 15 minutes to search the perimeter of the school and nearby residences before an all clear was issued.
“You can’t take anything lightly right now,” McCoy said. “You can’t overlook anything. We executed our procedures.”