The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 5, 2012

Report of firearm prompts lockout at Eastmorland Elementary School; police find nothing suspicious

By Emily Younker
eyounker@joplinglobe.com

— An unsubstantiated report of a person with a firearm near Eastmorland Elementary School in Joplin prompted Superintendent C.J. Huff to temporarily implement a lockout procedure at the school Monday morning. Joplin Police Cpl. Chuck Niess said the police department sent eight cars to the school for the search and confirmed that officers didn’t find anything suspicious.

Huff said the school was called just before 7:30 a.m. Monday by one of the district’s school bus aides, who reported seeing what appeared to be a middle-school-aged student near 11th Street and Highview Avenue with what appeared to be a firearm.

Huff said Joplin police were called immediately and searched the neighborhood and the school but found nothing.

The lockout, which was authorized as a precaution, was lifted around 8:30 a.m., Huff said. During that time, students had not been allowed outdoors, although parents were still allowed inside the building to drop their children off, he said.