Students placed on 33 minute lockdown following incident at Crossroads Mall

The high school entered a precautionary lockup situation at 12:02 pm on Sept. 9, 2022. An email from the school to families stated that the request was made by the Portage Department of Public Safety while they investigated a situation in the vicinity of Crossroads Mall. The Crossroads Mall is 1.3 miles away, or about 4 minutes by car, from the school. 

During a lock up, students remain in the classroom, but instruction can continue, which allowed band class to move forward without interruption. (Annabelle Bartz)

“It was very scary, cause at first I thought there was a shooter in the school,” said sophomore Alex Christy. Freshman Hadassah Santiago was worried also, saying that when the announcement came on, her first thoughts were, “Is this it? Is there someone in the building? Is this the last time I’ll be with my friends?” 

Because it was the first lock up of the year, administration emailed teachers a statement to be read to students to remind them of the difference between a lock up and lock down. It read:

“A Lock UP is a precautionary measure used to ensure that students and staff within the building remain safe during a perceived emergency event. School administrators move all students, staff and activities inside and ensure the building’s perimeter remains secure until the situation is resolved.  This allows for educational practices to continue with as little interruption or distraction as possible. Staff will receive updates from administration every 15 minutes until the situation is resolved and we are given the “Huskie all clear.” Until that time it is important to know that the situation is being handled by the appropriate professionals and we are safe inside the building.” 

Once students understood that there was no immediate danger, the mood lifted. “I am kinda frustrated because it’s my lunch, but it’s ok I guess because my classes will be shorter later,” said junior Alice Freemire while the lockup was still in place. 

The lock up ended at 12:35, and the bell schedule was adjusted to accommodate a later start to lunch and a modified finish to the day, with 5th hour/2nd lunch going from 12:35-1:05, 6th hour going from 1:10-1:55, and 7th hour going from 2:00-2:40pm. 

The business office at The Crossroads Mall as well as the Portage Department of Public Safety have been contacted to find out more specific details behind the incident, but both have yet to respond. This story will be updated as more details become available.