Student walks campus during lockdown

Monday, October 6th 2008, 9:47 pm
By: News 9

By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9

PRAGUE, Okla. -- When a school goes on lockdown, parents expect campus officials will do everything possible to keep their children safe, but one parent said her child was put in harm's way when he should have been protected.

Last week Prague High School was placed on lockdown. Students were kept in classrooms, but one student said he was forced to walk across the campus to the superintendent's office.

Senior Craig Pearson said he was consistently threatened by a 17-year-old dropout and was targeted after he started dating the former student's ex-girlfriend.

"He came in and told me he was going to kill me," Pearson said. "He said he was going to slit my throat in my sleep and then I told him to leave."

Pearson said the threat occurred Monday night, when the 17-year-old barged into Pearson's house and refused to leave. Pearson's mother, Myra Pearson, filed three reports with Prague police and the Lincoln County Sheriff's office, but on Wednesday, the threatening teen was seen on campus.

That Thursday, another parent notified the school, causing the campus to go on lockdown. During the lockdown, the superintendent summoned Craig Pearson to his office, which was located in another building.

"Nobody escorted me," Craig Pearson said. "I walked out the doors, 75 yards up to the office."

Superintendent Rick Martin admitted Craig Pearson was forced to walk to his office, but he said he thought the senior was inside the building where his office is housed.

Martin claimed he otherwise would not have asked a student to walk across campus during a lockdown. He also said police were on the scene.

"As soon as I got under the breezeway, there were two teachers standing there and a cop pulled up after I was next to the doors," Craig Pearson said.

Myra Pearson said the school's actions were a violation of Prague Public School's Police, which stipulated that, during a lockdown, no student should be allowed to leave until all students are accounted for or until they're released by school administration.

"If it's not the police of the school, why wasn't the policy followed?" Myra Pearson said. "They should go to him."

The Prague School District maintains that the students were not in any danger because the suspect was reportedly out of town during the lockdown, but a manager at a local pizza parlor said the suspect was at the restaurant that night and police were called after he caused a disturbance.