Hillcrest High School Teacher Armed Students with Bats During Active Shooter Hoax
In the aftermath of an active shooter hoax that impacted a high school in Tuscaloosa County Tuesday morning, one teacher said she and her students were ready to defend themselves if necessary.
As previously reported, the incident occurred Tuesday morning at Hillcrest High School where rumors circulated that an active shooter was on campus.
The Tuscaloosa County School System released a statement later Tuesday that the reports of a shooter were false and there was never a real threat to students on campus.
In a follow-up, TCSS said the call that led to the panic was made out of state by someone who called multiple schools in multiple locations and the FBI is investigating.
Before it was known to be a hoax, though, the active shooter reports immediately placed the campus on lockdown and had parents, teachers and students frantic as they watched dozens of law enforcement officers rush to the school.
Amy Anderson Hydrick, a teacher at Hillcrest High, said in a letter sent to the Steve and DC Morning Show on 95.3 The Bear Wednesday that the situation made one of her worst fears come true, but was thankful it turned out to be a hoax.
"As we were given instructions to go into lockdown, my heart raced but my students and I immediately sprang into action and followed the procedures that we have practiced repeatedly," Hydrick said. "I was so lucky to have such a great group of students in my class during this nightmare."
Hydrick said her students got into position, blocked entry into the classroom and gathered items that could be used to subdue an attacker, including "cans to spray or heavy books to throw" and baseball bats she kept in her classroom closet.
"As students moved quickly into position, some helped me barricade the doors while others asked me to get the bats out," Hydrick said. "I always tell my students at the beginning of school that I keep bats in my closet for this situation. A couple of the boys were prepared to use them if we needed them."
Hydrick thanked administrators, faculty members, students and law enforcement officers for their efforts during the threat and hopes the person responsible for the threat will face criminal charges.
Hydrick said she hopes this will serve as a reminder for people to not circulate rumors regarding threats on social media, which can send those involved into a frenzy but she was glad, in the end, that everyone walked away unharmed.
"I know that things could have ended so differently but I am glad I was able to hug each of my students and tell them I loved them as they left my classroom," Hydrick said.
Author's Note: 95.3 The Bear is owned by Townsquare Media, which is also the parent company of this publication.