Social media SNAFU leads to ‘soft lockdown’ at Avon schools

AVON — Two days after the Florida school shooting, schools across the country are on high alert including schools in Connecticut. On Friday morning all five Avon public schools were put on a soft lockdown after Avon Police said a general threat was received to the community.

After the Florida school shooting, Michelle Quesnel made sure to have a conversation with her 12-year-old son as she dropped him off at school about how to stay safe in a situation like that. She’s glad she informed him because he was a on a soft lock-down at Thompson Brook School for a couple hours Monday morning

Quesnel found out about the lockdown through an email sent to parents at around 9 a.m. The email stated there was a general threat to the community and that there will be an increased police presence at Avon public schools while the students are on a soft lock down. The interim superintendent said a soft lockdown means the school’s doors are locked, and no one is allowed inside the building, while students go about their normal class schedule.

“Got an email later than expected. What I don’t like about it is that they don’t explain a little further, you have to hear it from your kids,” Quesnel said.

Her husband added that the email was too vague.

“I think they should have gave a little more information on what’s going on so we can make those decisions as parents to say should we pull the kids out,” Bill Quesnel said. “They called it a soft lock down and that the police were there, but said it’s not a threat, but it’s in the community so I mean what does that mean for us driving around.”

Police gave the all-clear after a couple hours saying there was a note left inside Quest Diagnostics at 54 West Avon Road. The note read “Our (expletive) school is getting shot up.” The note did not mention a specific school, but the Board of Education decided to implement a “Code Yellow” which is a soft lockdown for all public schools, per the recommendation of police.

Police said the note was accidentally left behind by a Spanish-speaking cleaner who wrote down some words he wanted to get translated – they were the words a Florida student had posted on social media during Wednesday’s mass shooting.  ​