A Seymour Middle School Sixth Grade Center student has been expelled after admitting to pushing a button that activated an active shooter alarm Wednesday, police reported Thursday.
Seymour Police Department Lt. John Watson said the student was in Principal Linda Luedeman’s office for disciplinary issues when the incident happened. School officials could not be reached for comment.
The principal stepped out of her office for a moment, and that’s when the student saw the button and pressed it, unknowing of what it did, he said.
“(The buttons) are normally hidden, but where this button was hidden, they had remodeled the room,” Watson said. “They put the button under a cover on the wall like a fire alarm, and because of where the desk would have been, they would have had to rewire the whole room.
“She rearranged her room because of safety reasons with her desk in the corner, and they didn’t rewire the button toward her desk. They left the button on the wall, and the student saw it and pushed it.”
Watson said 19 police officers responded to the alarm, which went off at 3:04 p.m.
He said the first officers to arrive responded in two minutes. Those officers included members of the department’s SWAT team, who came from Freeman Field, where they were training at the time.
Watson said it didn’t take long for officers to determine there wasn’t a threat.
“We didn’t know for sure until we cleared the school and started investigating,” he said. “I would say probably within the first 10 minutes, we realized that it wasn’t an active shooter, and it was more than likely a malfunction or someone pressed the alarm.”
More than 400 students attend the school, and more than 30 staff members work there. There was not a school resource officer at the school at the time.
Bus drivers were instructed to park at Gaiser Park until the situation was cleared.
Multiple active shooter alarms are located in the corporation’s eight schools, but the number and location of the buttons are confidential due to safety concerns.
“There are only a handful of people in the school that know where they are and what they are for,” Watson said.
The incident marks the second time a false alarm for a school shooter has happened at the Sixth Grade Center. The button also was pushed at the school Dec. 14, 2015, at 3:15 p.m.