By Max Hrenda
Last Friday, on a relatively quiet afternoon at Hampton Elementary, the phone rang.
Secretary Teresa McClain answered.
Within a minute, the school was in full lockdown.
“It was scary,” McClain said. “It was real, and it was scary.”
McClain had taken the call from Unaka High School’s school resource officer, warning her that a call had been made about a man with a gun running toward the school, and that Hampton Elementary needed to lock down. She told her co-workers, and another secretary announced that the school was on lockdown.
At the time, fifth-through-eighth-grade Principal Bud Hazelwood was on cafeteria duty. Having just experienced a lockdown drill on Thursday, Hazelwood said he knew Friday’s lockdown was something more than just a drill.
“When the secretary put us on lockdown, I knew it was something serious,” Hazelwood said.