Parents of a primary school in Kirkby would be forgiven for feeling extremely anxious following an article published in the Liverpool Echo last week which claimed that pupils were left “hiding under their desks for 15 minutes” after gunshots were fired outside.
Thankfully, the story was not all that it seemed – in fact not a single shot was fired and inside the school, St Joseph the Worker Primary, all was calm and controlled as the school day continued as normal, with not a single pupil cowering under the table.
Unfortunately, the rumour mill was reported as fact, and the rather alarming, but completely false story remained online for more than a day after the true facts became known.
For the record – here’s what really happened:
At 2.35pm on Tuesday, 26 September 2017, police arrested three men at a property on Bewley Drive, Kirkby, on suspicion of possessing a firearm. No shots were fired.
Because of the ongoing police presence around the address, the school were notified that there were localised road closures, which may affect some parents and pupils travelling to and from the school at home time.
As a result, the school contacted parents to let them know that they would make sure all pupils had a parent with them before letting them out of school that afternoon – to ensure that there were no issues with pupils being able to make their way home if their usual way was inaccessible, and to ensure that no pupil was let out alone if parents were late arriving to collect them.
There was no ‘lockdown’
The media reporting that the school was ‘in lockdown’ was incorrect.
All schools do practice ‘lockdown procedures’, which ensure that all pupils are kept safely indoors in the event of an incident which may cause an imminent threat to their safety in the local area. However, in this incident this was not necessary.