BERKELEY COUNTY, South Carolina (WCSC) — After the arrest of two minors near Philip Simmons High School on Friday afternoon, high school students and their parents feel the school handled the situation well.
The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office responded to the high school late in the school day about a possible weapon on campus. This resulted in the lockdown of all three Philip Simmons schools. Parents said they were notified by email, text and phone call soon after authorities arrived.
Kendra Christmas, mother of a 15-year-old student at Philip Simmons, said she felt the school district had done a great job of communicating with parents.
“I think at first you’re a little stunned and you don’t believe it’s real, but my son said, ‘Mom, we’re really good and we’re safe here’, which was heartwarming” , said Christmas. “So I didn’t rush to school. I came close and waited for us to get the green light to come.
The students said that after the classrooms closed, they sat for about an hour before gathering in the far corner of the windows.
“They just said we were in total lockdown and said no one could leave the room,” said Philip Simmons student Landon Robb. “We locked the doors and closed the shutters. Traffic around schools was blocked for at least an hour when students were released from lockdown. »
Dennis Schimpf is the father of two students from Philips Simmons High School. He said the situation unfolding so close to his home is crazy.
“You don’t think about it every day,” Schimpf said. “On the national news, you hear about it and it’s really crazy to think about it. You know, kids are walking around with guns like that.
Despite the lockdown, students and fans gathered on Friday night to watch Philip Simmons’ comeback football game. A 15-year-old student, Que Vaugag, said people were panicking, but they weren’t.
“I mean, you can’t stop what’s going to happen,” Vaugag said. “That’s life. You never know.”
As the closures were lifted, the sheriff’s office announced that two underage students were in custody. A total of three firearms were recovered in the incident, officials said.
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