Connecticut Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statements in response to false reports of an active shooter at Windsor Locks Middle School, Stamford High School, Harding High School, Staples High School, Enfield High School, Windham High School, and Norwich Technical High School. According to reports, the fake 911 calls were made during a time when thousands of police from around the state and country were attending the funeral of two Bristol police officers. Local law enforcement believe that these incidents were part of a larger swatting incident.
“When we send our kids to school, we shouldn’t have to wonder whether or not they’ll come home safe,” said Meredith Magee, a volunteer with the Connecticut chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Even though today’s incident turned out to be a false alarm, the fear and trauma were real. We have some of the strongest gun safety laws in the country, but we must continue to work proactively to get guns off the streets so we don’t have to live with this constant uncertainty.”
“I was going through my normal school day when I got a concerned text from my mom and saw police cars arriving outside the school. With little-to-no context, I was wondering if I should be fearing for my life,” said Ash Richardson-White, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Connecticut. “Even false alarms are traumatizing when you live in a country where gun violence can break out anywhere, at any time. This is no way to learn. Leaders at every level must ensure our right to a safe, healthy education.”
Swatting is the act of making a false report to law enforcement about a life threatening ongoing crime to elicit a large response. While no one was injured in any of these incidents, these lockdowns are traumatizing for the students and staff involved as well as for the parents who waited to hear that their children were safe. A culture of gun violence has created an environment where communities across the country have to live in fear that gun violence could break out at any moment, and every threat of violence must be taken seriously.
Information on Connecticut’s gun safety laws can be found here, and Everytown’s report on how to keep schools safe from gun violence is available here.