An automated phone call a West Hartford day school teacher received about a gunman on campus that prompted a "soft lockdown" turned out to be from Hamilton College about an incident on the Clinton, New York campus.
The Solomon Schechter Day School, a Jewish day school for students ages 2 to eighth grade in West Hartford, went into “soft lockdown” on Oct. 9 after a teacher at the school "received a suspicious automated phone call." A soft lockdown is when the doors remain open inside the school and people can move about, but no one is allowed in or out.
The message said, “This is not a drill. There is someone on campus with a weapon.” Then the message asked the recipient to reply “ok,” police said.
It turned out that Hamilton College had sent the message to students and their emergency contacts about an incident on campus and one of the Solomon Schechter faculty members has a child who goes to the college, police said. The automated system at Hamilton sent the messages to all listed emails, cell phones, home phones and work phones, so the teacher received it at the school, according to police.
Police responded as a precaution and did not find anyone with a weapon inside or outside of the school or on the roof.
Solomon students remained in class during the investigation and school resumed as normal after police deemed it safe, so no early dismissal was necessary.
To avoid the confusion in the future, Hamilton College will mention in any automated messages that they are coming from the college, police said.
The incident remains under investigation.