Howitt Middle School goes into lockdown after human error
A Farmingdale middle school went into lockdown Thursday following what turned out to be a false alarm.
The lockdown system at Howitt Middle School went into effect at around 11:40 a.m. due to human error, according to the Farmingdale Union Free School District.
Sixth grader Johnny Recine says blue lights flashed, causing momentary fear for children at the school.
"There's been current events going on especially in Texas with the recent school shooting," Recine says. "It was a lot to take in at the moment, but I think we've moved on from it."
According to the district, students and staff were never in any danger.
A robocall went out with a message from the superintendent explaining why the lockdown was initiated, saying, "This trigger was caused by the vendor who services our lockdown system. They were performing off-location testing without our knowledge. This was not a planned drill. The building is clear, and students are returning to their normal operating protocols."
One Farmingdale parent named Michele told News 12 she nearly started crying when she received text messages from her daughter saying her school went into lockdown.
"I did pick her up early because she was really upset," Michele says. "Picked up a few kids that were upset just to be able to hug them and hold her."
It's not clear how the miscommunication happened between the school district and the vendor servicing the lockdown system.
The district is offering support to students who could need it after Thursday's lockdown.