By Heather Hope, News 9
NORMAN, Oklahoma -- As the school week started, all the Norman Public Schools were placed on lockdown on Monday morning until late afternoon.
The school district followed the Norman Police Department as it advised all Norman schools to be on alert as officers searched for two McClain County Jail inmates on the run.
After one inmate was found on West Brooks Street near Whittier Middle School, Norman police officers searched for the other inmate in the same area.
"Students were not leaving the classes, lights were out, things were very quiet, and there were OHP and NPD personnel within the buildings," says Shelly Hickman, spokesperson for Norman Public Schools.
Hickman says Whittier Middle School had heightened security with several patrol cars and search dogs looking for the inmate near the campus.
The search can kept many parents on edge all day.
"It's scary, the helicopters have been going around all morning," says Laura Incarnato, a parent of a third and fifth grader at two schools on lockdown. "And being able to look out my window at Whittier, there's armed policemen everywhere up and down the street they even searched our garage."
Incarnato lives down the street from where the inmate search began and ended. She says she received several alerts from the school district about the lockdown.
"When they call you, and it's an automated message saying your school's on lockdown, you're a little freaked out," she says. "But I was able to text my son and he immediately replied back that he was ok."
Hickman has a sixth grader at Whittier Middle School, and says she understands parents being worried about their kids' school on lockdown, but all the students were well protected.
"We sent out emergency messages via phone, email and text messaging," Hickman said. "It was a lot going on at first, but then later in the day, everything was back to business as usual."
Officers located the second the inmate escapee minutes before Whittier Middle School got out for the day around 3:30 p.m. Patrol cars jammed traffic on West Brooks Street for almost an hour, but after officers quickly took the inmate, parents picked up their students as normal.