ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. - Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma said Tuesday that he has changed protocols to unannounced code red alerts, or active shooter drills, after a false threat following such a drill triggered panic at Lake Brantley High School on Thursday.
Lemma said he made changes as soon as he was briefed about the incident.
"I immediately suspended all code red drills until we could determine what led to the incident and make the necessary changes," he said. "The bottom line is this: We are no longer going to do these unannounced code red drills in that manner anymore."
Lemma said he met with Seminole County Superintendent Walt Griffin to develop a new plan for future drills.
"This plan will include both announced and unannounced code red drills," Lemma said. "Announced, meaning that we will provide notice in advance of conducting the drill. To prevent a recurrence of what occurred on the campus of Lake Brantley High School, effective immediately when an unannounced drill is conducted, we will notify everyone (faculty, staff, students and parents) at that very moment that what is occurring is only a drill and not a real threat."
Student Maverick Stallings said Thursday's incident was alarming.
"All I heard them say was 'code red,' and immediately, everybody started getting up and screaming, and they started running out of the lunchroom," he said.
Student Damian Goulart said students in classrooms were also panicking.
"We had people in class crying, because they thought it was real," he said. "The teacher was crying. A lot of kids were very traumatized by that, and they still have anxiety to this day about it."
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