By Jessica Masse
(WINDSOR, ON) – It’s not everyday in Windsor Ontario where parents are informed as they’re at the school attempting to pick up their children that they are told the school is on lockdown due to a gunmen being in the area.
All the parents of General Brock Elementary School arrived yesterday between 2:40-3:50 only to be denied entry into the school and forced to stand out in the cold many with little ones in strollers or in car seats inside family vehicles. Pandemonium broke out as parents had to rely upon each other for information as to why they were denied entry and why the school doors are locked with their children inside the building.
Many parents turned to the crossing guard for answers but she had no knowledge herself of what was going on, and was standing at the corner waiting to cross children, as if it was business as usual.
This is what occurred on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at General Brock Elementary School and at Forster High School, because of a nearby firearms investigation. Windsor police say they got a call of a man with a gun around 2 p.m. They went to two houses, one in the 3200 block of Linwood Place, the other was on Capitol Street. Police told the Square at 3:10 two male suspects had been arrested.
Scott Scantlebury, public relations officer for the Greater Essex County District School Board, confirmed that the lockdown was lifted just after 3 p.m.
Many frustrated parents of General Brock Public School were infuriated that they were not informed that their children’s school was on a lockdown, as a matter of fact no public safety notices were issued to warn passers-by that their personal safety could be in jeopardy.
There are many parents who bring the students’ younger siblings to the school to pick up their brothers and sisters. Many parents had little ones in strollers waiting outside on the corner of Brock and Sandwich Street, potentially in harms way.
When parents were informed by another parent that there were gunmen in the area, many parents with young ones ran home on foot or jumped in their cars n drove away, rather than waiting outside of the school with their young ones.
Parents who chose to remain anonymously told The Square they are furious that they were not informed. They said “Fail” on Windsor’s public safety division for not communicating and warning the community of the risk. As multiple parents were interviewed, the general complaint was that they understand that the school staff might not have been in a position to call parents but they were disappointed that city officials or even the Parent’s Council did not inform them.
When authorities at Brock were asked, by the Windsor Square, what the communications protocol for a lockdown was, we were informed by a reliable source that it’s “hold and secure”.
What about a text, email or phone-call chain from the president of the Parent’s Council, is there anything like that in place for situations of this sort? The School Board could post something on their website was the only response.