UPDATE: Lockdown Lifted, Buses from J.C. Magill and Grace Snell Running Late

UPDATE: The lockdown was just at J.C. Magill but students at Grace Snell were affected because of buses. Parents are advised that buses are running late.

UPDATE: 4:50 per Gwinnett County PD PIO Jake Smith.

There was a report of gunfire near the school.  Officers are still investigating, but it seems to have been teenagers with fireworks.  If that changes, I’ll issue a statement.

UPDATE: From Gwinnett County Public Schools spokesman Jorge Quintana

The school went into lockdown earlier this afternoon shortly before 3:20 p.m. as a precaution due to police activity outside of the school. The lockdown was lifted at aropund 4:15 p.m. This means that students will be coming home a little later than usual this evening as buses were delayed. The delay also affects some students from Grace Snell MS as use the same school buses for both schools. 

Quintana asked that parents be advised that the school buses from J.C. Magill Elementary and Grace Snell Middle schools in Loganville are running late.

Previously reported

According to the AJC, J.C. Magill Elementary and Grace Snell Middle, both in Loganville, are on lockdown

Gun shots were reported in the area, and teachers and children reported seeing a "strange man" in the woods. 

As of 4:15 p.m., children were not being allowed to go home. 

Loganville-Grayson and Snellville will update you as more information is made available. 

Amber January 09, 2013 at 10:34 PM
I have to say that the evacuation plan from the playground of the kids after "shots heard" took too long. If it was a sniper it would've been really deadly as teachers waited for students to line up and be quiet before entering the building. Then the school went on lock down. As far as everyone knew, there was person or persons in the woods with a gun. So the people in charge saw fit to line the kids up and be quiet before entering the building approx 5 min according to my student.
diamonz January 09, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Are u kidding me smh my child was next door middle school they didnt tell her what was going on when it was announced till she was dismissed and wouldnt allow her to call me...outrageous...
garrett cronnelly January 09, 2013 at 11:54 PM
To Magill Elementary Administrators, While we were felt secure that our children were being protected by procedures and their teachers, we felt that the lack of communication from Magill and Grace Snell Administrators for 1 1/2 hours from the school was ridiculous and terrifying. A simple recorded message would have been sufficient to calm our fears. Yet over 30 phone calls (neither school answered any of my repeated calls) and countless conversations with neighbors FINALLY led us to the AJC article that was published at 4:18 more than 30 minutes after my children usually arrive home. I drove to Magill to try to see what was wrong, but the officer outside the school would not speak to me and none of the parents in the 1/2 mile long parent pick-up lane knew any information. JC Magill has a twitter account yet still no news from the school. All calls to Magill and Grace Snell are still going unanswered (4:40 p.m.). Magill website has no information. Gwinnett county website has no information. When my electricity goes out I call Walton EMC and I get a pre-recorded message saying that they know my power is out, but they are on their way to fix it. How my electric company can be more sensitive to my family’s needs than our neighborhood school is completely unacceptable. Really, how hard could it be to put up a recorded message or a statement on your web page?
garrett cronnelly January 09, 2013 at 11:55 PM
After my 1st, 2nd, & 4th grade children returned home at 4:46 p.m. I was met by my crying 1st grader who told me, “Daddy, a principal was shot and there are guns at my school”. Then my crying 2nd grader interrupted , “No! A man in the woods was shooting a gun.” Finally, my 4th grade son gave me the letter from the principal. He told me, “They said we were safe, but this letter is pretty scary, Dad”. These letters should have been sent in sealed envelopes. Having my 2nd grade daughter read that letter on the way home is completely unacceptable. The words; strange man, gun shots and playground are words she has been repeating all evening, now.
diamonz January 10, 2013 at 12:12 AM
I agree with you garrett, I called grace snell and they didnt tell me anything not even to say there was a lockdown. My daughter was scared entire time in lockdown.
Annette January 10, 2013 at 01:28 AM
Thank you parents for posting your comments! As I feel the lack of communication is unacceptable as well. At the beginning of the school year, a bomb threat was made and the school did a lock down. That communication was slow to come and vague. I agree a recorded message or a web posting should have (at the very least) been issued.
Lking January 10, 2013 at 03:08 AM
I agree that a recorded message or website statement would have helped parents know what was going on. I don't know if their procedure was not to answer calls until the lockdown was lifted, but thankfully, I was able to get through to the elementary school on my first try and they answered on the first ring. They let me know all the buses were being loaded and were late and that I'd get a letter explaining why. But I do wonder if they were being inundated with calls, and I dont know how they could have answered all of them, which is why it did cross my mind about whether a better alert system was needed.
Yazmin January 10, 2013 at 04:12 AM
I was waiting in the car rider line and could not get to the school. It was getting later and parents started leaving their cars, then helicopters start circling and parents start really panic ing. No, reason for that, communication would have been key.
C Riche January 10, 2013 at 03:04 PM
I had called the school over and over again and no one answer the phone, I still don't know for sure what happen at the school. I had to find out from my daughter who was outside at the time when they heard gun shots, she told me the teachers was saying that is fireworks and she saw a strange man in the back of the school with blue shorts my daughter is so terrified that she don't even want to go back too that school, I still didn't hear from anyone at the school about what happen all they send was a piece of paper.


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