A Code Red lockdown left many parents terrified and some in tears Friday afternoon after rumors circulated about someone having a gun at Mandarin High School.
The school was placed on lockdown just before 1 p.m. and a line of cars started crowding the school.
“He had texted and he was okay at that time but it’s the what-if,” Rachael Frank said. “You know, the whole time here, shaking with fear, crying, no words can describe it. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare.”
At the time of that text, Frank said her son was texting from inside a closet.
For about 4 hours, parents and students were left to guess what happened as Duval County Public Schools released a statement saying “Mandarin High School has been placed on code red due to allegations that a student was in possession of a firearm. That student has been detained by police.”
Many parents waiting for their children showed First Coast News texts from their kids about what they “heard” happened through rumors, many of which were very different from what the school released.
With a lack of official information and rumors circulating, parents and students were left frightened.
“I wish there were more updates that were coming,” Frank said. ”You know, what exactly is happening so we don’t have to hear everything through text messages from our terrified kids. I wish that they would be more prompt with their information.”
The school district sent an email to parents around 5 p.m. thanking them for their patience at the school today and released that they never found a firearm on campus.
The district says it commends the students who stepped forward with their concerns, reiterating “if you see something, say something.”