False alarm causes panic at South

Overview+of+South%27s+front+parking+lot+during+fourth+block.+Many+students+had+left+campus+after+being+dismissed+from+the+auditorium.+Photo+by+K.+Angle

Overview of South's front parking lot during fourth block. Many students had left campus after being dismissed from the auditorium. Photo by K. Angle

BY KILEY ANGLE

At approximately 10:50 a.m. on Mar. 8, students and staff at South were called into the auditorium during MavTime by David Hickerson, principal.

In the confusion, Hickerson spoke to students and staff about the incident. Revealing there was a false message about  an active shooter was at South.

“I was at Haven Johannsen’s signing when we were being called down to the auditorium,” Lexia Vencinti, 10, said. “I didn’t know what was going on or what to do.”

Police officers from both Maize and Wichita arrived on campus to investigate.

“I only have a first and second block at the school,” Christ Traudt, 12, said. “I noticed the officers when I was leaving.”

Students and staff were dismissed at approximately 11:20 a.m. Many students were called out by parents, some teachers even took action by locking their doors and discussing an exit strategy with students.

“Just to be on the safe side, I locked my door at the beginning of third block,” Lindsay Hall, social studies, said. “I told my students that if the worst came to happen we could exit through the window.”

The district announced a false alarm almost an hour after the initial threat. Students and staff were instructed to return to a typical school day.

Following the events on Mar. 8, the district released the following statement:

Despite rumors, there is no threat or active shooter at Maize South High School. All students are safe. Law enforcement officials are on the scene and investigating a report. Staff members are working to communicate further details. At this time, we believe this is misinformation or a false report.”

Overview of South's front parking lot during fourth block. Many students had left campus after being dismissed from the auditorium. Photo by K. Angle

After the initial false report, school returned to its normal schedule. Many students left campus after being dismissed from the auditorium. Photo by K. Angle