KINGS MILLS, Ohio -- There was no real emergency at Kings Junior High School Thursday evening, but the panic students, staff and parents felt as more than a dozen police and fire vehicles pulled up outside was real.
According to police, an unknown person pushed an emergency activation button in the school around 4 p.m. Thursday, forcing an evacuation and summoning authorities to the scene.
No charges will be made in the incident, according to a release Friday from Kings Local Schools District.
The release said the button that was pushed was mistaken for the button that unlocks the office doors.
“Even though this was an accident, we will review our protocols and procedures to help ensure that something like this doesn’t happen in the future," Kings Superintendent Tim Ackermann said.
Gideon Diebel and his younger brother, Tucker, were at school for track when the emergency alarm sounded and they were shepherded away from the building: first to the multi-purpose room and then onto buses, 60 students at a time, for a trip to Rivers Crossing Community Church, where they were reunited with their famlies.
"It was nerve-wracking," said Grace Nunns, a junior. "I didn’t know where my brother Elliot was because he didn’t have his phone."
Tina Diebel had to fill out papers and show her ID before she could collect her two sons from the church. Despite her anxiety at the initial news, she was comforted by the fact that the school system kept parents updated throughout the evening.
"At first you are scared," she said. "But when they said that all the students were safe, then I felt a lot better. I felt confident they had it under control."
According to Ackerman, the emergency button that triggered the evacuation was located in the main school office, which was closed at the time of the incident. Any press of that button automatically calls authorities and sounds an alarm for students and staff to leave the building.
The Warren County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Thursday evening that they were interviewing a person of interest in the incident, but had not made an arrest.