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The Town

October 9, 2013

Schools respond with lockout


Tonawanda News — Mondanaro said the district is in the process of putting in place a new messaging system that will contact all parents through a series of emails, messages and robocalls in the case of just such an emergency.

“That really would have helped yesterday,” he said. The current E-Alerts system requires residents to sign up at the district website ( to receive the messages. 

“It works, but the system we’re going to be moving to is going to be much better.”

The important thing, Mondanaro said, is that students were safe.

“I’d rather be criticized for being conservative,” he said. “I don’t know if this guy is going to jump out of this house with a gun. I don’t know that. I’m not going to take that chance. That’s how we think. That’s our philosophy.”

The status at the schools Monday was termed a lockout situation, in which the district has been informed of a possible threat, precautions have been taken but the school day continues as normal except for outside activities. 

In the case of Kenmore East High School, not far from the scene, a combination shelter-in-place/lockout status was in operation, Mondanaro said. Under a shelter-in-place status, students remain in place within the school or are moved to a single location therein. 

District parents seemed mostly positive about the district’s actions during the incident.

Dawn Stinner, a parent with four children at Lindbergh Elementary School, was actually at the school during the situation and was unable to leave.

“I happened to be there when the principal got the call and he said, ‘We have to lock down the building,’ “ she said. “It was flawless, it really was. I happened to be in a class at the time, and the teacher kept the kids calm and continued on with her class, but in a quiet mode. It actually worked out very well.”

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