FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Code red lockdowns were lifted early Monday afternoon at Dillard High and Dillard Elementary Schools in Fort Lauderdale after an extensive search following a report of someone with a gun on the high school campus.
Police say officers were unable to confirm the report and no weapons were located.
“We received a 911 call, an anonymous caller claimed that a student at Dillard High had a gun in his waist band and was showing it to other students,” said Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Tracey Figone.
Police went room to room at Dillard High School, searching for someone with a gun on campus.
“I was thinking about my life because I thought somebody was going to shoot up the place,” said student Chayah Robinson.
Robinson and three others were in a room of the gym without a lock.
They came up with a quick plan to lock themselves in and waited for police.
“We had to lock ourselves in,” Robinson explained. “We had to use an extension cord and tie it around the door and stuff.”
Concerned and worried parents raced to school after getting texts and calls from their kids.
One parent told CBS4’s Ted Scouten her son told her, “Mom, something is wrong, they are on code red lockdown.”
After that extensive search, where police scoured the entire school, they didn’t find anything.
All this on the same day that Javary Meriwether was arrested in Miramar.
In that case, the former Everglades High School student is accused of posting a social media threat that he was going to “shoot up” his old school.
Broward prosecutor Maria Schneider said these types of threats at schools are on the rise.
“In past years we would have one situation that involved a threat a month, maybe every few months and we are now having multiple threats on a weekly basis,” she said. “I don’t understand.”
Schneider said these threat cases can result in an arrest as there is little tolerance for this behavior, whether it’s a joke or not. She said the impact on students is real.
“The emotional cost, the effect of trauma we now know is intense and pervasive and being placed in that situation where you don’t know what’s what is something that can scar a child for the rest of their lives,” Schneider said, adding that she hopes parents talk to their kids about the real consequences of making threats against a school.
As for Meriwether, he appeared in court Monday afternoon. His attorney said Meriwether has no priors and no history of violence.
His attorney alluded to Meriweather having some mental health problems and being unable to live on his own, and said he has no access to guns.
A judge gave Meriwether a $15,000 bond and ordered him to stay away from schools and social media.
The probable cause affidavit in the case shows that Meriwether told police that “the messages were posted only as a joke and he had no intention of carrying out the threat.”