Wednesday, March 21, 2018

PJP student arrested for “prank," causing school lockdown

PJP student arrested for “prank," causing school lockdown
Posted: Feb 28, 2018
Categories: Front Page, Crime
Comments: 0
From Slidell Police:
SLIDELL---Shortly after practicing a school lockdown drill, students at Pope John Paul II Catholic High School were faced with the real thing.
This morning, Slidell Police were dispatched to 1901 Jaguar Drive (Pope John Paul II) in reference to a suspicious object.

During the mock lockdown drill, 18-year-old Austin Lang wrapped duct tape around a plastic bottle, and taped to a pole outside of one of the hallways on the school campus. School administrators found this to be suspicious, immediately locked down the campus, and contacted Slidell Police.

The school remained on lockdown for over an hour, as officers determined that there was no threat to the safety of the school. The incident was deemed to be a prank, but a very costly one. Investigators were able to identify Lang as the person responsible, and placed him under arrest him for Interfering with the Educational Process.

Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal says, “It’s a shame this is what our world has come too, but we will not tolerate jokes, pranks, or anything that even resembles a threat to a school. Our detectives have been overwhelmed the last couple of weeks with countless rumors being spread on social media and false threats. We have no choice but to take every situation seriously, which ultimately ends with someone getting arrested and expelled from school. There is a zero-tolerance policy with both law enforcement and school officials when it comes to threats, jokes, pranks, or rumors being spread through social media posts. We will continue to investigate and follow up on every complaint we receive, as the safety of our school children is a top priority. I cannot stress enough that parents need to have conversations with their children about these situations, and the serious consequences that can result from a bad or immature decision.”

The school leadership at Pope John II School released the following statement:

This morning school leadership identified what would be considered a suspicious package on campus at Pope John Paul II. We took immediate action contacting the authorities and putting the school on lockdown.

Local police responded quickly and soon afterward determined that there was no threat to the safety of the school. Police remained on campus for most of the morning, and concluded that this was in fact a “prank”.

At Pope John Paul II the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff are priorities for us. Any threat or perceived danger to our school community will be reported and investigated thoroughly. We will not tolerate behavior that threatens or endangers our school family in any way.

We are grateful to the local authorities who responded quickly to this incident and pledge our cooperation with them as any investigation continues.