Gananda parents sent into panic by school lockdown

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GANANDA, N.Y. (WHEC) — Dozens of parents and family members sped to Gananda Middle School on Friday after a student allegedly sent false 911 text messages claiming there was a person with a gun in the school attempting to kidnap someone.

Dozens of parents were kept behind a police line while the threat was investigated.

“This is a place where children go, it shouldn’t have to be this gamble of are they going to be okay in a place where they’re just getting an education,” said Olivia Jakunowski, whose 13 year-old brother is a student at the school.

For 20-30 minutes it was sheer panic while they waited for information, “you’re petrified, you feel like the whole world stops, you feel so powerless because all you wanna do is run in there grab them and get them out, you don’t even think of what could’ve happened to you in that moment I’m just beyond angry,” Jakunowski added.

Eventually a deputy arrived to tell them all the kids inside were safe and no shots were fired. A few minutes after that, Wayne County Sheriff Rob Milby himself came to reassure them the situation was under control.

“I got very scared, all kinds of things were going though my head, just plain terror with everything going on in the schools and the shootings, in Buffalo, just plain terror,” said Diane Rock who has a 6th grader who attends the school.

When given the go-ahead, family members walked down to the school to get their kids. The walk back was filled with kisses, hugs and a lot tears.

Vanessa Martinez, was holding tight to her 6th grader Elaina, “it’s so hard, I told her I wasn’t letting her go for the rest of the day, your instinct you just gotta get to your kids, you gotta make sure they’re okay… praying the whole way here making sure all the teachers, all the staff, all the kids were safe. Obviously, everybody knows the chaos that’s going on and just praying hoping everyone safe,” she told News10NBC.

Eliana says the kids stayed in the rooms, lights off, quiet… waiting for instructions, “we practice for that kinda stuff probably every couple of months.”