False “armed intruder alert” sounds at Nicolet High School

GLENDALE (WITI) — On Friday, January 11th, Nicolet High School was placed under a brief lockdown after an alert came over the school’s P.A. system indicating an armed intruder was inside the school. As it turned out, this was a false alarm — but the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School had an impact on why this false alarm happened, and how students and staff reacted.

One month ago, a gunman killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. This mass school shooting had an impact on schools across the nation — prompting many schools to increase security measures and students to take safety drills more seriously.

Nicolet Superintendent Dr. Rick Monroe says security has been improved at Nicolet High School. A new audio system was set up to alert students and staff through the school’s P.A. system — all with the touch of a button.

On Friday, that button was inadvertently hit, causing the intruder alert to sound, and students and staff to react.

Dr. Monroe says everyone followed protocol for emergency drills, locked doors and took cover.

“People did act appropriately right away and they didn’t hesitate. We’re very well-drilled. I expect in some classes, doors were closed if they weren’t already closed and people started moving away from the window area,” Dr. Monroe said.

The alert was repeated a few times, before it was stopped.

“Probably within about 45 seconds the principal came on the P.A. and said it was an inadvertent announcement and please disregard — it was an accident,” Dr. Monroe said.

Nicolet’s security alert system is still relatively new, so Dr. Monroe says they’re working out all of the bugs.

Meanwhile, Dr. Monroe says he commends everyone on their response and will continue to look into security innovations.

“Safety and security is our number one priority,” Dr. Monroe said.

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