PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry High School in Pilot Mountain went into lockdown Wednesday around 12 p.m. for a period of two hours, according to school officials, after Principal Diane Beane received what she believed to be credible information that indicated there was a student in possession of a firearm on campus.
Surry County Schools Director of Communications and Teacher Quality Coordinator Sonia Dickerson said the precautionary lockdown took place due to a rumor circulating through the student body, a rumor that indicated an incident could happen during the second lunch period. Dickerson said school officials decided to issue the lockdown to assess the situation.
The Surry County Sheriff’s Office, the Pilot Mountain Police Department, and the N.C. State Highway Patrol responded to assist East Surry High School with the lockdown and conduct a campus search. After an extensive search, according to school officials, no weapons were found, and the school returned to a normal schedule at 2 p.m.
After the two-hour lockdown, students were given the opportunity to each lunch under a modified schedule with increased supervision, according to Dickerson, who added that the primary concern was keeping students safe and secure.
“We practice the lockdown drills regularly, so students and staff knew what to do — they did what they had practiced during the drills. It was a good way to get things under control so they could assess and investigate the situation,” Dickerson said.
Surry County Schools issued an AlertNow message to parents and guardians as soon as the lockdown took place, and school officials also posted information about the lockdown on the school system’s Facebook page.
“All threats to student safety are taken very seriously. We appreciate the immediate response from law enforcement, and the cooperation of the community, parents, students, and staff in bringing today’s issue to a safe conclusion,” Dickerson said.