SPANISH FORK, Utah (ABC4) – Wednesday was a terrifying day for parents, students and faculty. Calls across the state reported active shooter situations at several Utah schools, all of which turned out to be a hoax. Spanish Fork High School was one of those schools affected.
The Spanish Fork community says they are still shaken up, a day later.
During the event, one Spanish Fork mother, Diana Rowland, recorded the police response on TikTok.
“This is the reality of a school shooting hoax,” Rowland says in her video. “It was simply a threat. They are calling students names, parents are lined up to make sure their babies are accounted for. Do you understand the level of fear? And this isn’t even real.”
After the call of an active shooter came in, police were quickly there to lockdown the school.
David Thomas told ABC4 his wife is a teacher at Spanish Fork High. He was dropping off supplies when dozens of police began to rush into the school.
“When you see that pull in, you take a breath right,” Thomas said. “The sirens were on, the lights were going. You could hear everybody talking about clearing the rooms and you’re holding your breath because you don’t know it’s a hoax yet.”
Steven Petersen said he is hosting two foreign exchange students. They both attend the school and called his wife in tears while the school was in lockdown. He said they wanted just wanted to come home and that they had enough for the day.
“I got a call from my wife,” said Petersen. “She came down to pick up my girls. They were just rattled. It was pretty terrifying for them. They’ve never been to the United States before. This is their first time here.”
Today, despite being a little shaken up, the community is grateful for the response from police to keep their families safe.
“The fact they came here that fast, totally responsive, I think that just gives us all a sense of peace,” continued Petersen.
School officials said it was a tender moment being able to see the students reunite with their parents, families, and guardians after the incident.
“It was all hugs and tears for all,” said Nebo School District spokesperson, Lana Hiskey. “They were so grateful.”
The school district is providing resources such as counselors for students and faculty who may need it after Wednesday’s active shooter hoax. There is also an additional police presence on campus on Thursday, giving families and students additional peace of mind.