Central HS officials say intruder false alarm became a learning experience

An accidental pressing of a panic button by a Central High School staff member Thursday afternoon has proved to be a learning experience for the school in a couple of ways, school officials say.

The accidental triggering of a PA system announcement that there was a dangerous intruder in the building occurred Thursday at about 1:45 p.m. while school was in session, said a school statement distributed to parents.

“This was deemed a false alarm and became a training situation for both staff and students about what to do in an actual Emergency situation,” the statement said.

District administrator  R. Scott Pierce said in an email to westofthei.com that he feels the staff has done a good job of avoiding false alarms while the panic button system has been in place.

“We are in our second year with each teacher and other staff members with a Panic Button that is available to them in the event of a suspected intruder,” Pierce said. “Our staff have been very diligent to ensure these panic buttons do not get into the wrong hands. Yesterday, a staff member pressed the button by mistake. This is the first incident with these devices and in all candor, I am surprised we did not have such an alert sooner. Our staff have done a commendable job in protecting these devices from getting into the wrong hands.”

westofthei.com’s questions to Pierce included “any steps being taken or contemplated to make the way this false alarm occurred less likely to happen in the future?” Pierce concluded his email with the following: “It was human error and we learned from the incident about a number of issues. It heightens our awareness to be even more diligent in the future.”

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