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Parents wrongly said their children’s school was closed. Wake blames “human error.”

The Wake County school system is apologizing for an error that caused families at the wrong school to be notified that the campus was on Code Red closure.

Apex High School was briefly placed on lockdown Monday morning due to what turned out to be a false threat. But instead of notifying Apex High School families that the campus was in Code Red, the district sent an alert to Apex Friendship High School families that their school was closed.

In a Code Red, no one is allowed to enter or leave the campus until authorities give a message that everything is okay. Students remain in their classrooms until the lockdown is lifted.

“We apologize for any distress this error may have caused,” Wake said in a statement Wednesday. “While speed of communications is a priority in emergency situations, errors like this should never happen. “We are reviewing our processes to ensure this does not happen again.”

Fake April Fool’s Day Threats

On Monday, multiple phone calls in North Carolina claimed that active shooters were attacking different schools, according to documents uncovered by ABC News.

The North Carolina Information Sharing and Analysis Center bulletin said all of the calls were determined to be April Fool’s Day hoaxes, according to ABC11, News & Observer’s newsgathering partner.

Apex High School students change classes between its five main buildings and several self-contained modular classrooms on Jan. 28, 2016. News & Observer file photo/News & Observer file photoApex High School students change classes between its five main buildings and several self-contained modular classrooms on Jan. 28, 2016. News & Observer file photo/News & Observer file photo

Apex High School students change classes between its five main buildings and several self-contained modular classrooms on Jan. 28, 2016. News & Observer file photo/News & Observer file photo

“On Monday morning, Apex High School entered a Code Red lockdown due to a potential threat,” Wake said in his statement. “While the Apex High School website was updated with this information in real time, the message about the closure was mistakenly sent via text messages and voice calls to Apex Friendship High families.

“This was human error and not the result of an issue with our messaging system.”

As soon as the communications team was alerted to the error, Apex Friendship High Principal Brian Pittman sent a message to families that the school was not closed. He also made a school-wide announcement to the students telling them what had happened so they could text their parents to let them know everything was okay.

No message until Code Red is removed

Wake says the Code Red was lifted at Apex High as the district was in the process of sending a Code Red message via email and text message to Apex High families.

“As a result, that message was quickly revised to include information about changes to the student dismissal process for those parents who decided to pick up their students,” Wake said in the statement.

Tracy Taylor, an Apex High parent, complained during Tuesday’s school board meeting that parents didn’t know about Code Red until they received messages from their children.

“Imagine yesterday morning, at 9:02, a father receives a text message from his daughter that says, ‘There is a code red on campus. If something happens to me, I love you both so much,’” Taylor said during public comment. “Imagine as a parent never receiving the Code Red alert from the Wake County Public School System.”

Taylor said the district must be held accountable for failing to alert Apex High families during Code Red and for scaring Apex Friendship High families.

“This created confusion among 5,200 families, resulting in multiple calls to multiple schools…” Taylor said. “Fix the problem within the Wake County Central Office.”

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