Parents of Essex High School students were relieved when their kids came safely out the school on Wednesday afternoon.
There was an overall sense of relief from parents as the school buses headed to the school when the students were finally released at 2:05 p.m. after being under lockdown for about four hours. As the buses rolled in the crowd of parents grew bigger.
There were lots of hugs and murmurs of “Let’s go home.”
All we heard was just the principal telling the teacher on the cell phone that this is not a drill please get everyone away,” said Brittyn Bernier, Essex High School student.
Bernier said her teacher was the only one with a cell phone.
I have family in the other building, my cousin and then my little brother, so they were definitely on my mind,” said Bernier.
Bernier said once her brother had made his way outside, she felt safer.
“It was a serious situation that could have ended horribly,” added Bernier.
Some students were greeted by their parents near Old Colchester Road, others were bussed home and some were able to drive away.
One student’s father was waiting for his sophomore daughter Kristen. He told Local 22 & Local 44’s Lauren Maloney that his daughter said the lights were off and she was just sitting under her desk waiting to figure out what to do next.
Her father was worried his daughter would be the last one out after seeing so many reunions. “I was concerned as a parent but I know the school has security measures in place so I wasn’t overly concerned,” he said.
Kristen’s father said he didn’t leave work right away but got to the school just in case students were let out early. “My daughter has always been one to have a good head on her shoulders and she naturally takes charge of the situation, when somebody needs it so I wasn’t that worried about her,” he said. He said the school’s teachers and staff did a fine job handling the situation inside.
Kristen and her dad reunited with a hug, both happy it was over.