By Jeff Stein and Kyle Friend for The Voice & Owen Zhang for The Tattler

(Courtesy of The Tattler)

Ithaca, N.Y. — BB gun packaging found in an Ithaca High School bathroom Friday morning put the school on lockdown for about three hours.

The lockdown was lifted at around 12:30 p.m. The search did not find a BB gun, Ithaca police said in a statement.

The search is “not even close” to being over, an ICSD administrator said. A statement from the school said “all public access areas, every locker and then all student bags” were searched.

The police statement added that the BB gun’s “empty plastic packaging” was found in a garbage can.

Classes are resuming at IHS beginning with sixth period.

The lockdown cancelled classes and disrupted the first official day at the school. Police and IHS Principal Jarrett Powers searched the backpacks of students in classrooms.

Teachers halted their classes. Students spent their mornings idling in their chairs.

Normal cafeteria hours were suspended as lunches of pizza and milk were brought around to the students.

Several Ithaca police officers and patrol cars could be seen in and around the school.

A statement from school officials said that the campus was secured after BB gun packaging was discovered.

The packaging was found in a bathroom in Kulp Auditorium.


The lockdown began around 9:30 a.m. Ithaca police investigated and students’ lockers were searched for a BB gun. A photo taken by The Tattler showed the principal personally inspecting different students’ backpacks.

“The students and staff were amazing today,” said Chief Secondary Officer Jason Trumble in a statement. “We appreciate how they respected the process and supported each other.”

One student said she didn’t think it was right for her backpack to be searched without having done anything wrong.

“Even though I don’t have anything to hide I still don’t like the fact that they went through my stuff,” said Jordan Sawatzky, an IHS student.

Matt MacKenzie, a sophomore, said the lockdown was an inconvenience but that he wasn’t scared by what had happened.

“It wasn’t exactly the best situation,” MacKenzie said.

The lockdown began five minutes into first period, MacKenzie said. At around 11 a.m., teachers came and let students use the bathroom, he said.

It’s the first day for sophomores, juniors and seniors at the school.

“I think it’s especially hard for the freshmen, who don’t have any other impression of the school so far other than their tour yesterday,” said Olivia Salomon, class of 2015. Ithaca police can be seen parked outside.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.