Rocky River HS goes on modified lockdown after possible tension from Butler HS shooting

Rumors prompt school lockdown

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Rocky River High School was on a modified lock down Thursday after rumors of possible tension from the Butler High School fatal shooting.

All exterior doors were sealed, however, Charlotte-Mecklenburg School officials said students were able to move freely inside the building. Classroom doors were also locked during class times while staff remained in hallways during transitions.

Administrators sent out an email to parents about the lockdown, citing tensions:

“Good morning Rocky River families, This is Principal Ericia Turner calling with an update on our school community. In these tense times, we want to be proactive to help ensure a sense of safety on our campus for all our students, for you and for our staff. As a precautionary measure only, Rocky River will have increased security measures and will be operating on a modified lockdown today. A modified lockdown simply means that all adults will be in hallways during transitions and all classroom doors locked during class times. We are implementing these measures in response to rumors of possible tensions following Monday’s events at Butler HS.  I understand that this information could possibly be alarming, but I want to assure you again that these measures are precautionary. I also want you to know that when we have information we think you would want to know, we will err on the side of caution and I will share it with you. Our community experienced a tragedy on Monday in one of our schools and I know students feel additional pressures right now.  Please talk to them, be mindful of any changes in behavior and know that counseling is available to them here at Rocky River.  I thank you for your support of Rocky River HS and I will call you with an updates necessary. We look forward to a good day of teaching and learning here at Rocky River. Thank you.”
Principal Ericia Turner

While CMS could not confirm the exact reasoning behind the lockdown decision, or how the tension was related to Butler High School. Rocky River students and parents believe the issues had to do with related content circulating on social media.

“The boys had been saying since Monday, that a lot of the students knew one or both students from the incident on Monday, and so they felt like they needed to have loyalty to one boy or the other, and that’s where all this tension is coming from," said Bonny Cooper, who has two sons at Rocky River.

Numerous parents came to pick up their children from Rocky River Thursday, saying they weren’t risking anything after what happened at Butler on Monday.

“I don’t know who’s who, I don’t know who to trust, who not to trust, because you never know somebody’s mind set. When they’re coming to school, you don’t know what’s on their brain and what’s happening that could make them snap," said Sue Morton, another Rocky River parent. “It’s a gamble sending them to school every day now.”

On Monday, a student fatally shot and killed another student in the hallway at Butler High School around 7:15 a.m.

Bobby McKeithen, the student shot, was transported to the hospital where he later died from his injuries. Jatwan Cuffie was taken into custody immediately after the shooting and was charged with first degree murder.

A report from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department indicated the shooting stemmed from a fight between a group of young men Friday evening.

Officials have not said how Jatwan was able to get the gun inside of the school but mentioned that it was stolen from a vehicle in Gaston County.

There’s no word on whether Rocky River will be on the same lockdown pattern Friday.

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