Lockdown after student with toy gun reported at Durham elementary school

DURHAM (WTVD) -- After dealing with a gun scare on Friday morning, Durham Public Schools officials also had to address claims that a student at Merrick Moore Elementary School was armed with a BB gun and allowed to remain on campus.

A school system spokesperson denied those claims and told ABC11 that the weapon that was recovered was a plastic toy gun.

"I can assure you protocol was followed in terms of removing him from school," Spokesperson Marcia Pearson wrote, adding that the incident was taken seriously by the school and the district.

After learning a student told his teacher he was armed with a weapon, administrators called 911 for help.

"I have a student here that is refusing to let his teacher in and out of the classroom," the caller told the dispatcher. "He has threatened that he has a weapon in his bag, and he is still carrying his backpack."

The school immediately went into lockdown. Several patrol cars swarmed the campus.

Students say they'd practiced for this sort of situation. But Friday, teachers made it clear: it was not a drill.

"We always did it as a drill. So, I thought it was a drill," said 10-year-old Christian Rodman, a student at Merrick Moore Elementary. "It had never happened before. My teacher said lockout. That means she was trying to tell us it was really real. It was really happening."

School officials say no one was hurt during the lockdown. ABC11 learned the toy gun was recovered from the child's book bag. The school day resumed under normal conditions, but not without leaving some students concerned.

"I was scared because I didn't know if it was a real one or not," recalled 7-year-old Alana Rodman.

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