Sixth grader Avery Smilley said most students only found out what happened at their middle school Thursday afternoon through worried texts from their parents, asking if they were okay.
Smilley said everything was normal one minute, fear and panic the next.
“Everybody went from happy all the way straight down to nervous, trying to get out,” he said.
He knew something was wrong when an announcement came over the speakers: all afternoon activities had been cancelled.
“Then, I heard from my friend while I was at my locker getting ready to leave, she said that there was a person with a gun that was loaded.”
It’s a situation Americans are becoming all too familiar with, and one that Avery’s parents and teachers have prepared him for.
“Everybody was going crazy in the hallways running away the instant they heard that,” he said.
Avery’s dad, Steven Smilley, said he’s pleased with how the school handled that particular situation, but that it’s not enough.
“It’s nice to know that they acted very swiftly but I would feel much more comfortable if they couldn’t get on the property to begin with,” Smilley said.
He wants to see more actions taken that will put safety as the highest priority in American schools.
“Make the schools safe first,” he said. “Is it sad that we have to have metal detectors? Is it sad that we have to have only one entry point into the school? Yeah, but it’s the time we live in and instead of ignoring to me that’s a way we can fix the problem right away.”
WFXR also spoke with some teachers who work at the middle school. They said they were just as nervous as the students were.