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Hourslong lockdown at Plymouth-Canton high alarming for students, parents

Police investigate stranger danger in Canton
Posted at 10:56 PM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 23:13:58-05

CANTON, Mich. (WXYZ) — Parents stood outside Plymouth-Canton Education Park waiting for hours after a potential threat was reported Thursday afternoon.

One mother says the wait felt like forever, especially since the school shared little to no information about what was taking place inside the school.

“My family members were trying to calm me down. They didn’t want me to have a panic attack. My anxiety levels were high," Tikita Hatch said.

A lot of parents didn't find out what was taking place inside until students were released around 5:30 p.m.

“We eventually barricaded the door and turned the lights off," Salem High School sophomore Jaden Green said.

Canton police say there was a report of a weapon on the school campus which includes Plymouth, Canton and Salem high schools for a total of about 6,000 students.

“At about 1:50 p.m., they came on the intercom and announced we were going into a lockdown." Sydney Andrews, a junior at Canton High School, said.

Andrews immediately pulled out her phone and texted her parents.

“I don’t think it’s a drill. I love you guys. I don’t know what’s going on," she said she texted her parents.

Less than 30 miles away in Wyandotte, Roosevelt High School was also on lockdown after police say a student was hurt with a knife in a fight.

Parents who waited outside for students to be released say was nerve-wracking.

“With the Oxford, it’s enough, you know?” one father said.

Social worker Kimberly Hinton, the director of children's behavior health at The Guidance Center says, it's OK for parents to feel this way.

“You are not alone. There are other parents that are feeling like this and it's OK to be scared for your kids," Hinton said.

She says kids are also scared and there are ways to tell if they aren't verbally saying it.

“Sometimes they become very isolate. They don’t want to talk to people. You may see some interruptions in their sleep pattern, and you’ll see that kids will lose their appetite," Hinton said.

As Hatch holds onto her son's hand, she says he will not return to the school building.

“They need to go virtual. They need to get this under control," she said.

Plymouth-Canton Community Schools will be Closed on Friday, December 10, school officials announced.

Hinton says don't be afraid to have conversations with your children.

"Do check-ins with your kids when they are coming from school. Do check-ins with them when they are leaving — say, 'How are you feeling today.'”