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Yesterday, St Leonards Road School was put under lockdown after three other schools, Kelston Boys’ High School, Kelston Girls’ College and Kelston Intermediate were also put under lockdown at around 2:30 pm.
The lockdown happened as a precaution because of an incident that involved concern for a person’s wellbeing, but, something wasn’t right with St Leonard’s Road School board managing the lockdown, ensuring the safety and well-being of all students.
This incident followed 24 hours after Lincoln Heights School in Massey was put under lockdown due to a firearms incident involving the Armed Offenders Squad.
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Stuff reported that lockdowns were lifted at three of the West Auckland schools after the police incident — at around 3:30 pm Police started releasing one school at a time out of lockdown.
At around 4 pm St Leonard’s Road School posted an update to their Facebook page and website saying that the school is still in lockdown.
Police did not confirm any information on weather St Leonard’s Road School would be taken out of lockdown, nor did the school contact police.
Parents and caregivers were concerned about the wellbeing of their loved ones during the time of the lockdown.
“St Leonard’s Road School are still in lockdown despite the other schools being released. We will be advised by the police once we can release our children to go home. Thank you for your patience and please do not attempt to enter the school,” read a notice on St Leonard’s Road Schools’ website.
Journalist and CEO Sam Hudson had noticed parents complaining about St Leonard’s Road School Facebook page, which had no communication about the developments; so he emailed the Police Media Team for comment on why the school was still in lockdown as the parents were concerned.
Police were contacted for comment on the situation at around 4:30 pm, receiving a response at around 4:50 pm.
A spokesperson from the Police Media Team said given it was the end of the schooling day, after 3 pm, Police began a graduated release of students in cooperation with the schools impacted.
“Due to a miscommunication on the ground there was a delay in the gradual lift of the lockdown at St Leonard’s Road School,” said the spokesperson.
“The lockdown at all three schools has now lifted.”
The school was put out of lockdown at around 4:45 pm.
When some parents were spoken to and interviewed by thisquality, they were not happy.
Questions have been raised about the treatment of the students during the lockdown, where alleged comments from parents said that their children had to lay on the hard floor in complete silence for around an hour, they also could not go to the toilet during that time.
When parents/caregivers were asked what the process was to retrieve their children, the school had no clear entry into the hall and no roll call and ensuring all students were okay.
One parent said to thisquality that their children ‘are going to have nightmares’ after experiencing what happened. They also said to thisquality that it was not a day they wanted to repeat.
Questions need to be raised on why St Leonard’s Road School was locked down for so long with no outside contact from police and no inside contact to police.
this is an on-going investigation and thisquality will be requesting more information as it develops.