Local elementary takes shelter on last day of school

ODESSA, Tx (KOSA) -- Burleson Elementary School activated shelter in place on Thursday morning, while police searched for a robbery suspect nearby. The precaution delayed a graduation and worried some parents.

Around 8 a.m the doors to the school were locked, and no one was allowed in or out. Unlike in a lock-down, activities continued on as usual inside the school, and there was no immediate threat to the students.

Still, parents arriving for the scheduled 5th grade graduation feared the worst when they saw the school surrounded by police.

"My baby just got hurt, and I can’t get to him," parent Teresa Colvin said. "And if I could I would. But they don’t let you in. And I understand that it’s for the safety of our children and I respect them for that."

With the streets around the school blocked off, parents lined up in their cars around the block. Some waited for more than an hour.

"I’ve never been through anything like this," grandmother Margie Wade Dawson said. "This is supposed to be a celebration; now it’s a shock. It’s a lock-down, and it’s my baby’s last day of school.

Parents said the school did call them with updates, and some even heard directly from their kids.

"He talked to his sister for a minute, briefly," Colvin said. "He told her he was scared. He goes ‘but I’m fine.’ So knowing he was fine, I was okay.

The shelter in place was lifted just after 10 a.m. and the graduation was re-scheduled for 1:30 in the afternoon.

During the graduation ceremony, Principal Tristan Specter praised parents and students for their patience during the day's events, and said these 5th graders are the best group of kids he's been around.

"They still get to have their party and get to have their graduation," Colvin said. "For all the kids that go there and were on lock-down, it’s a happy ending."