Cookeville High School lockdown: Student in custody, no weapon found on campus, district says

Cookeville High School lockdown police response
Posted at 1:14 PM, Aug 31, 2022

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Cookeville High School was placed on lockdown on Wednesday, and a student was charged with making a false report.

The district said CHS administration, school resource officers and law enforcement were on site. No one was allowed in or out of the building during the lockdown. According to the sheriff, a crisis center called law enforcement after an 18-year-old made suicidal threats in an online chat.

The student is 18-years-old, and will be charged as an adult for Filing a False Report, which is a Class C Felony. She reportedly said in the chat online she had a gun.

Parents rushed to the school after getting texts from their children about a lockdown.

"I wouldn’t have known if my daughter hadn’t messaged me from underneath the desk," Sandra Renea Lancaster said.

She said she felt sick and anxious, but then the lockdown was lifted.

"We’re just trying to uplift her and tell her she’s safe, and she is, but my goodness we need to do better. I think they need to go through like airport security or something," Renea Lancaster said.

Eventually, students were reunited with their parents.

“I'm just disappointed. Why? Why do you have to go threaten a school where everyone‘s just trying to learn and get home?" Sophomore Quentin Frazier said. “So, why bring all that trouble here?"

In this day and age, students are prepared for the worst.

"A couple kids were on the floor seeing if the light would change in the doors if people were walking by," Frazier said. "That was pretty scary."

No weapon was found.

“I am pleased with the urgency in which this event was resolved and the cooperation between the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Cookeville Police Department, and Putnam County School Administration," said Sheriff Eddie Farris. "We will always take any statements or actions that could possibly be a threat or cause serious harm to students or faculty and get a resolution quickly."

“We appreciate the quick actions from law enforcement to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff in response to today's situation," said Director of Schools Corby King. "As Sheriff Farris stated, we take these statements and threats seriously in the Putnam County School System. We worked with law enforcement to move as quickly as possible to inform our families of what was happening. Today's events took some time to piece together, and we appreciate our parents' and caregivers’ patience as we worked to gather information and distribute it. In evaluating our responses, we always look for ways to improve our actions. The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is of the utmost importance. We are committed to improving communication and safety processes. We are thankful that this was a false event. I also want to thank our CHS students, faculty, and staff for their reaction and cooperation throughout this event.”