The principal of Harlan County High School says 300 students missed classes Friday, after an emergency drill fueled rumors throughout the school.
WYMT's Dara Rees spoke with school officials and has more on the school's plans to keep students safe.
Principal Bob Howard says an earthquake drill was changed to a lockdown drill as the rumors started.
“As the day started we started picking up on some phone calls and some rumors about a whole bunch of different activities that were supposed to take place here,” Principal Howard said.
The sheriff's department searched the halls with drug and explosive sniffing dogs as planned and found nothing.
“No, absolutely not. Nothing was found. We did a very thorough search like we normally did and they stayed in lockdown for a little while. After that, classes were let out,” Sheriff Marvin Lipfird said.
“It just got out of hand. People started hearing that there was a lock down at school and it was announced over the intercom that it was a practice lockdown,” Principal Howard said.
Principal Howard says the school was built with precautions in place, about 200 surveillance cameras, secure doors requiring codes for entry, and a policy that makes all visitors pass through the main office before entering the school, all contribute to the safety efforts.
“We've already picked up on two or three cases of vandalism where we actually watched the student during the vandalism process,” Principal Howard said.
With so many precautions, Sheriff Lipfird says students should feel safe at school.
“I want to protect my kids also as well as I would anyone else's. So if I thought there was a danger, they wouldn't be here,” Sheriff Lipfird said.
School officials say there are many more drills scheduled through the rest of the school year.
Bob Howard says the lockdown drill was successful and says officials found a few ways to make the next drill more effective.