Parents weren’t notified for seven hours.
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — A malfunctioning fire alarm at Whispering Pines elementary school Thursday led to a school evacuation and emergency fire department response — confusing students who had just taken part in a fire drill days earlier and frightening teachers already on edge on the one year anniversary of the massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.
School shooting events have historically included the activation of fire alarms by a gunman. Fire alarms rang at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High as 17 people were killed.
Parents Thursday night contacting BocaNewsNow.com expressed outrage not just at the event, but at the lack of communication by Principal Barbara Riemer who went through the day without telling parents anything about the alarm — which occurred around 11 a.m. — until she transmitted a robocall and an email blast to parents after 6 p.m.
Wrote Riemer in an email with the subject “Fire Drill:”
“Good Afternoon Parents. Today we had a false Fire Alarm. The Fire Department did come to campus, as is the procedure. The students, faculty, and staff were safe at all times. The students and faculty did an amazing job following directions continuing to ensure the safety and security of our campus. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call me at 561-672-2704.”
Parents driving by Whispering Pines during the evacuation would have observed the entire school outdoors and a fire truck on location.
Eyewitnesses say the fire alarm strobe lights continued to flash in classrooms for at least an hour following the event, forcing teachers to constantly reassure young children that everything was okay.