KANSAS CITY, Kan. - The observant student who reported what they thought to be a gun sent Wyandotte High School on lockdown for an hour Thursday morning. It isn't the first time school officials have jumped into action after someone reported what they saw. These days, schools and families aren't taking chances.
"I had to message my mother, everybody and say 'I don't know what's going on, if this is goodbye, I love you,'" Alayah Womack said.
The Wyandotte High School junior and the rest of the school sat crouched out of view in dark, locked classrooms while sheriff's deputies combed the halls making sure a shooter wasn't among them.
It all turned out to be an innocent mistake; what a student thought was a gun was actually a laser that reads temperatures.
"It did look like a gun," Ann Hernandez said after we showed her a device like it.
The laser requires you to aim it and pull a trigger. Real gun or not, Hernandez who was there to pick up her little sister at school appreciated the district's quick response.
"I am glad that they took control," she said.
Just over a week ago, district officials at Raymore-Peculiar High School jumped to react when people reported seeing frightening posts from a student on social media that threatened violence at the school. Six hundred students didn't show up to school the next day and the student who made the posts now faces charges after people reported what they saw.
Kansas City, Mo., public school officials are banking on that same help from their families, hoping people will download Message Qube. The app lets people send a text message directly to the district's security.
They say it will also allow students or staff to send silent messages in the event they are hiding from an active shooter.
Kansas City, Kan., Schools Representative David Smith said the district is proud of the observant student who made the report Thursday.
"You always want somebody to say something," he said. "It is better to be safe than sorry."