NEBRASKA CITY – Nebraska City schools went quickly into a “lockout”, but soon upgraded to an official “lockdown,” after a threat to Nebraska City Public High School and Middle School was received by Otoe County Dispatch at 10:06 Thursday morning.
There was a heavy police presence at both schools. The Nebraska City Police Department, Otoe County Sheriff’s Office and the Nebraska State Patrol all responded.
Nebraska City Public High School Faculty member Julie Denniston, who is the para educator for ninth-grade special education, says staff members were not informed of any drills, so when they got an email from administration about the threat, they knew it was real.
“We went through our drill: turned out the lights, went to our corner and everything was running smoothly. The police responded very quickly. Our kids were very calm. Some of the other kids were panicking. Thank goodness everything came out well.”
In accordance to school protocol, students got underneath their desks throughout the entire lockdown, stayed quiet and teachers locked their classroom doors, not answering to any knocks or shakes on the door.
Witnesses inside the high school said law enforcement searched classroom-to-classroom with weapons drawn.
Officials have said there was never an active shooter and there was no indication of anyone inside the schools with a weapon.
Denniston has two kids in the school system, a high school student and a middle school student. She wasn’t hearing much from the middle school, because students are not allowed to have their cell phones.
“Thank goodness I know a couple of the teachers, personally. I was able to correspond with them and I think without having that, I would have had a breakdown.”
Denniston says everything went great, protocol was followed and everything was organized. She hopes they never have to do it again.
The state patrol does not anticipate any other arrests at this time. No injuries have been reported.
All public school activities Thursday, including tennis, baseball and middle school track and field, have been cancelled.
Police remain on scene at the schools and the situation remains under investigation.
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