Unruly student caused lockdown at Wilkins School

AMHERST – The lockdown at Wilkins School Dec. 14 was triggered by a member of the school staff who was dealing with an uncooperative student, said Police Chief Mark Reams.

There were no threats or weapons involved.

“The lockdown was merely triggered by staff who were exercising an abundance of caution to deal with a student who was being defiant and uncooperative with staff directives,” said the chief in an email. “At no point were the lives or safety of any staff or students in jeopardy.”

After the Thursday morning lockdown, Principal Gerard St. Amand sent an email to parents saying that “everyone at Wilkins is safe and sound,” and the 20-minute lockdown was “in response to a safety concern.”

Everyone in the school responded appropriately, he said, “and emergency personnel responded to the situation as part of our emergency procedures.

“This situation reinforced the value in practicing drills on a regular basis, since staff and students responded perfectly,” wrote the principal of the 1-4th-grade school.

Dec. 14 was the fifth anniversary of the massacre of 20 young children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. One Amherst parent emailed The Cabinet to say parents were concerned when they received the principal’s email.