At 11:30 on Wednesday, March 29th 2023, Avonworth community members were notified of active shooter hoax call that activated lock downs in the surrounding area.
Students were both relieved that an announcement was made both in the school by Mr. Hall and sometimes emotional in coping with the possible reality that a school shooting could be happening at Avonworth. Dr. Hadley notified parents during the day with multiple messages, including a screenshot of the final e-mail sent to families on Wednesday.
Part of the anxiety throughout the school day was the rapid spread of information on social media, often with conflicting information. Mainly Snapchat, from friends of AHS students at Central Catholic, pushed the rapid series of posts, many from students on lockdown. Some students in other schools were serious and scared while others were posting ironically and dramatically. The impact for students here, who were attending classes regularly, was sometimes intense. “All you could think about was am I going to die,” said Jack Salisbury about trying to adjust to the constant different messages.
The person behind the hoax has been arrested and charged – https://www.wesa.fm/courts-justice/2023-03-30/arrest-hoax-active-shooter-calls .
But the threat remains, in an era of increased violence. According to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University, in addition to other AP reporting: 175 people have died in mass shootings (mass shooting is defined as resulting in the death of four or more people, not including the perpetrator) with 15 such events connected to U.S. schools and colleges — from 1999’s Columbine High School massacre to Monday, March 27ths shooting in Nashville, Tenn.