PALATKA, FL – Reports of an unidentified person wearing a hoodie on school property triggered lockdown protocols at the Palatka Junior-Senior High School. It turns out, it was just a kid skipping class.
On Monday, deputies responded to Palatka Junior-Senior High School to reports of a suspicious person on campus. This triggered a lockdown of the campus. As the building was checked and cleared, the unknown person was discovered in a bathroom and identified as a student.
“Today we were placed on a lockdown shortly after 9:00 AM due to an unidentified person on campus. Law enforcement and guardians searched the campus while staff checked cameras until the person was located hiding in the bathroom,” the school said in a statement. “It turns out that this was a student that chose to not go to their assigned first-period class and was seen sneaking around a building.”
Some in the community felt school officials and police overreacted, but the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department explained how serious it could have been.
“This was not simply a student skipping class. The student was wearing a hoodie making him unidentifiable,” the department said in a statement. “The student ran and hid when a faculty member attempted to approach him to determine if he was an intruder.”
No criminal charges have been filed. The case has been forwarded to the PCSO Juvenile crime prevention office.