Haldane Locked Down

Startling sounds near campus turned out to be fireworks

Haldane locked down its campus in Cold Spring for about 90 minutes on Monday (May 15) after a law enforcement officer heard what sounded like possible gunfire near campus.

The noise, which frightened elementary schoolchildren on the playground, turned out to be firecrackers set off in the yard of a nearby home.

In an email to parents, Superintendent Philip Benante said that a lockdown of students and staff began at 12:15 p.m. while police responded to investigate. The campus reopened at 1:35 p.m.

“Given the timing of the incident today, students and staff may have had very disparate experiences with the emergency response,” Benante wrote. “Some of our students and staff were already in classroom settings and proceeded to lockdown in accordance with our procedures and their practiced drills. Yet a number of students and staff were outside and had to quickly return to the building or other safe area to seek shelter. While any student may need support in processing today’s event, these students may have experienced an increased sense of vulnerability and anxiety.”

He said additional law enforcement personnel would be on campus on Tuesday “to provide support during this period of what may feel like increased vulnerability.”

He thanked the Haldane staff and law enforcement officers. “Everyone did what was necessary to take care of our students and each other,” he wrote. “And thank you to the parents, who I know were worried about their children, for adhering to our requests to remain away from campus while the situation was being addressed.”

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