Slidell student arrested for prank that led to school lockdown

Slidell student arrested for prank that led to school lockdown
FOX 8 photo

SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - Shortly after practicing a school lockdown drill, students at Pope John Paul II Catholic High School were faced with the real thing, according to Slidell Police

Police were dispatched to the school Wednesday in reference to a suspicious object. During the mock lockdown drill, 18-year-old Austin Lang wrapped duct tape around a plastic bottle and taped it to a pole outside of one of the hallways on the school campus. School administrators found the item and put the campus on lockdown. They then notified Slidell Police.

The school remained on lockdown for over an hour until officers determined that there was no threat to the safety of the school.

The incident was deemed to be a prank, and investigators were able to identify Lang as the person responsible. He was placed under arrest for "interfering with the educational process," police said.

"It's a shame this is what our world has come too, but we will not tolerate jokes, pranks, or anything that even resembles a threat to a school," said Police Chief Randy Fandal. "Our detectives have been overwhelmed the last couple of weeks with countless rumors being spread on social media and false threats. We have no choice but to take every situation seriously, which ultimately ends with someone getting arrested and expelled from school. There is a zero-tolerance policy with both law enforcement and school officials when it comes to threats, jokes, pranks, or rumors being spread through social media posts. We will continue to investigate and follow up on every complaint we receive, as the safety of our school children is a top priority. I cannot stress enough that parents need to have conversations with their children about these situations, and the serious consequences that can result from a bad or immature decision."

The school released the following statement:

This morning school leadership identified what would be considered a suspicious package on campus at Pope John Paul II. We took immediate action contacting the authorities and putting the school on lockdown.

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