LAWRENCE (CBS) – Lawrence High School went into lockdown and students were then dismissed Friday morning as police were called to campus because of what they described as “an anonymous report of a threat of a potential school shooting.”

The threat was made through social media and involved a picture of a note saying a shooting would occur at the school, according to Lawrence Police Chief Roy Vasque. There are no reports of any injuries.

Several Lawrence and State police cruisers were parked outside the school around 10 a.m. as authorities conducted what they called a “controlled dismissal” classroom by classroom. Teachers locked their classroom doors and went into lockdown for three hours.

“We had our classroom securely locked,” the student said. “I saw a closet and hid in it.” 

Police told students to take only take only their wallets, phones and keys, according to the student.

By 1 p.m., all students were dismissed, according to Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera. Some students were put on school buses and taken home, while others were picked up outside the school by their parents.

Now that students have left the school, school officials will investigate, Rivera said at a press conference.

“In this day and age, as you know, different tragedies have occurred across the nation,” said Chief Vasque. “We have to take this very seriously and I think we did that.”

One student said students remained calm throughout the dismissal. She said she found out about the dismissal when her cousin texted her, and received no notice from school officials.

“I found out about the lockdown because of Facebook, because somebody hit me up through Facebook,” she said. “Even Facebook is letting me know even before the school knows.”

All after school activities were cancelled. School is expected to resume Monday.

State and local police outside Lawrence High School Friday morning during the lockdown. (WBZ-TV)

The incident came just hours after 150 homes and businesses in Lawrence were evacuated by a huge early morning gas leak. Students who can’t return home because of that will be taken to an “alternate site,” the school department tweeted.

“The safety of the Lawrence Public Schools is always a paramount concern for both the Lawrence Police and the Lawrence School Department,” Detective Thomas Cuddy said in a brief statement.

The State Police bomb squad and K-9 units are helping Lawrence police search the school.

Buses took students away from Lawrence High School Friday morning after the threat. (WBZ-TV)

No other information is available at this point in the investigation.


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