Parents calling for transparency after gun-related incident put local school on lockdown

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Pa. — Parents are calling for more transparency from the Canon-McMillan School District after a gun-related incident nearby put the school on lockdown.

The incident happened on March 9. Canonsburg police were called to the corner of Speer and South Jefferson, which is just behind South Central Elementary School, for a report of a woman with a gun.

Officers found a woman dressed in camo, face covered and an assault rifle. They say she was having a mental health episode and the school was put on lockdown.

Parents who reached out to Channel 11 said they weren’t aware of the details until a TikTok video was posted by a former student. Other parents say they’ve been demanding answers from administrators for weeks.

“If there was a person within 100 feet of your kids’ school with a gun, would you want to know about it?” a dad of one elementary school student asked. He didn’t want to share his name, afraid of retaliation from the district. He says the school never mentioned there was a gun involved.

“I’m not sure what’s to be gained by hiding it,” he said. “I understand they want to protect the person, who was involved in the incident, but what is more important, protecting her or protecting our kids?”

The principal did email families, saying there was a police incident, not related to the school, and out of an abundance of caution, they went on lockdown until receiving the all-clear from the police. Canonsburg police were there within minutes and took the woman in for a mental health evaluation.

“We can assure everyone there was never any threat made toward the school,” said Police Chief Al Coghill. “The only connection to the school is she lives in close proximity. We determined there were no violations or criminal conduct that took place that day. I can’t comment on any specifics about a person’s mental health.”

“Although this incident impacted the school, it did not directly involve the school,” said Morgan Northy, a spokesperson for the district.

The dad we interviewed felt the lockdown was handled well, but he feels parents deserve all the details. He also wants to know if the person taken into custody has other guns in the home.

“They did a great job, but no mention how close this person was to the school, no mention they had a weapon or anything. It’s something parents should know. If this happened at their kids’ school they would want to know.”

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