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This is Not a Drill: The Most Memorable Peddie School Lockdown

Amy Zhang ’19, Staff writer

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The entire Peddie campus went into lockdown after school administrators were notified by local police that a criminal suspect had entered the surrounding area at approximately 2:01pm on Thursday, December 1. The lockdown was all clear at 4:55 p.m. after the police arrested two suspects, a male and a female at 4:30 p.m.

Right after the police notified Peddie administrators, a Falcon Alert was sent to all students and faculty staff at 2:01 p.m. According to Headmaster Peter Quinn’s email, the Hightstown police were “looking for a couple who fled from a car crash on foot, and one of the couple is thought to be armed.” The faculty and staff members immediately reacted and led students into safe places according to well-practiced lockdown procedures. All parents were also strongly discouraged from driving to the campus.

“A K9 unit from the West Windsor Township Police Department assisted in the search, attempting to track the subjects, with positive indicators throughout campus,” Hightstown police said.

The students on the first floor and second floor of Annenberg Hall were led to the Annenberg Science Center after the police were told the criminals might be in the library. Unable to find the suspects after the building was cleared, the police were notified that the intruders were on the roof of Swig Arts Center, and successfully arrested them at around 4:30 p.m. The lockdown was all cleared at 4:55 p.m. and all students were free to resume normal activities. Fortunately, no one was injured in the accident.

“It was quite unexpected. I had actually just finished giving a tour and I was heading to English class. By the time it was about 2:30, I realized my English class really wasn’t going to go on,” Grace Wang ’19 said.

“I was in my English classroom with Mr. Onion, so I felt safe. And I felt bored because we were not allowed to eat or anything,” Chrissy Trovato ’17 said.

“I was in the Black Box in Swig with Mr. Jaski and Ms. Sherman. I felt pretty safe because Mr. Jaski was hilarious the whole time,” Olivia Maura ’20 said.

“We run a variety of emergency drills to make sure that our students, our teachers and our staff are able to make sure that we are in a safer position as an institution,” Dean of Students Peter McClellan said.

“I think Melanie Clements, who is in charge of running our emergency drills, has done a very good job of preparing the community for such an event, as it is evident from the way that the community reacted to Thursday’s unfortunate situation,” McClellan said.

McClellan pointed out that the event “was a bit unusual because it wasn’t a drill—and because of that truth, it enables us to, as a school should, reflect upon what we do well, and also to observe ways that we can improve our safety procedures.”


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The student news site of Peddie School
This is Not a Drill: The Most Memorable Peddie School Lockdown