BOISE-- On the first “school day” after the tragic and deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, there is a heightened awareness among the Boise community and its schools.
Emergency lockdown procedures were put into place Monday, at Grace Jordan Elementary School after Boise police said a father arrived at the school, upset and suicidal.
Police said the man walked inside the school became uncooperative but then was handcuffed and taken into custody by police outside in the parking lot.
Grace Jordan school administrators decided to place the students under lockdown, but there is a difference in opinion on how the lockdown was handled.
"Initially when we both heard it was a lockdown, we were both very frightened, especially in the wake of what happened in Connecticut,” said parent Tiffany Evans, who was speaking with a teacher.
Evans volunteers at her child’s kindergarten class and was inside the classroom at the time of the lockdown.
"The intercom came on and said this is a lockdown and then there was a pause and then they said this is only a drill,“ she said.
At that same time, Boise School District spokesperson Dan Hollar said the very upset father was at the school but being taken care of by police.
"This was a suspect that was not armed but we wanted to take extra precaution and that's what we did in this regard,” Hollar said. “We thank police for their response."
A lockdown is typical for schools; many will perform drills more than once during the school year. Schools in the district also follow drills and plans for emergencies.
"We responded accordingly, implemented our emergency response plan," Hollar said.
However, Evans didn’t see it that way. She said the teacher closed the blinds and locked the door but according to her, things inside the classroom continued as normal, she believes it was because the lockdown was called a drill.
“I don’t think that the full extent of what a lockdown should be,” said Evans.
Evans said when the school announced the lockdown over, she along with the teacher and the kindergarten class walked outside to meet the buses, but then is when they witnessed the commotion with police cars and the students saw the man in the back seat of a police car.
“The fact that they downplayed it or didn't say that it was an actual lockdown made teachers react differently,” she said.
Hollar said the situation ended without anyone getting hurt and said their first priority is always safety.
"We're all just concerned about making sure that our community remains safe and secure and I think this is an example of everyone pulling together,” he said.
After the situation was over, Evans said she called the school to ask about what is supposed to happen during a lockdown drill. She was told by a member of the staff that the students should sit in their desks, or sit under their desk or huddle in a corner in the room.
Evans said none of that happened in the classroom that she was in.
Hollar maintains the end result of this situation was positive and the school performed their emergency procedure just as they should.