FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Bentonville High School locked down last night during the homecoming dance after police received word there could be a student armed with a gun.
The Bentonville police department says this is information they received around 8:40 p.m. Saturday.
The information was relayed to students and staff at the high school and the school went into lockdown procedures while officers check the entire school.
This is an incident that occurred just one day after there was a similar situation at Rogers High School football game.
Rogers’ police say after receiving reports of gunshots, it was confirmed to be a false alarm.
Corporal Adam McInnis with the Bentonville Police Department says when they arrived they were able to determine there were no threats at the high school.
All the students were able to be picked up and returned home safely, but the investigation is still ongoing.
“Our detectives came in and were able to talk to students and parents about where these rumors may have started and what exactly happen, we are working through all the evidence to find out what exactly occurred,” says McInnis.
Following both of these cases being reported in the span of 48 hours parents in Benton County say they are concerned for their children’s safety in what is supposed to be a safe space.
“It makes me want to not let my kids out; it goes against everything I want to be able to do as a parent,” says Benton County parent Becky Rangel.
Rangel is a mom of two teenage girls who attend Bentonville West, and she says hearing there was a second report of a potential gun at Bentonville High School was the last thing she wanted to hear.
Especially after just having a conversation with her kids about the similar report from the Rogers School District on Friday.
“I mean, what parent plans on having a conversation with their kid on what to do if they’re getting shot at,” says Rangel. “We’ve been having these conversations for years just because I believe they’re important conversations to have.”
But it’s conversation Emily Brandt, Lead Clinical therapist at Eason Counseling, says all parents should be having with their children.
“I just feel like we need to start normalizing these sorts of conversations about our mental health and emotional health,” says Brandt.
So far, the investigation of the Rogers and the Bentonville High School case has not discovered any real threat in either instance.
However, Rangel worries even knowing this now; these situations could have lasting consequences on students for years to come.
“My daughter was supposed to be at Rogers Friday night; I’m grateful that she wasn’t. The fear that those kids had and the adrenaline that they had to deal with thinking that they were going to be shot at creates trauma that you can’t undo,” says Rangel.
The Bentonville Police Department says Saturday’s investigation is still ongoing, so anyone who might have information on his case should report it to the non-emergency tip line.