An activation of the active shooter alert system at Framingham High School that set off an emergency response was a false alarm, district officials confirmed Friday.
Framingham police said they were called to the school Friday morning, but determined there was no threat.
The superintendent's office said the false alarm was set off while crews were doing work on the system and changing a battery.
"The staff and students did exactly what they should do in a situation like this, but understandably people are upset. We are communicating with students, staff, and families and providing any counseling services or transportation resources for students, as needed," Superintendent Dr. Robert A. Tremblay said in a statement.
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Patrick Almeida, a junior at Framingham High School, said he was in the middle of a test when the alarm went off. He described it as a computerized voice that said "Active Shooter detected in J Hall."
"We were confused, because we've heard drills over the intercom, and we know what they sound like, but we've never heard these alarms before," said Almeida. "My class came to a state of panic. As soon as the teacher heard it, she got up and closed the door and told everyone to get down and get in the corner. Another teacher moved a big metal cabinet to barricade the door and turned off the lights. Today I saw panic in my teachers, and that's when it set in that this was not a drill."
He said he texted his texted his mom and sister saying goodbye and that he loved them in case anything happened.
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"I was confronted with the possibility that I might actually be shot today," said Almeida. "It was very crushing. There were kids that were full-on sobbing while running. Some were leaning on other students to help them walk. It was chaotic."
After his teachers led them out of the classroom, he ran toward a gas station and stayed there until he could be picked up.
"I'm kind of disappointed. I didn't understand why that was a good idea to test or change batteries, especially in a week when we've seen threats in Massachusetts schools," said Almeida. "Why did no one alert teachers and staff that there is a possibility, that an alarm could go off? This has caused an excessive amount of panic. This could have been avoided. This could have been done before or after school hours. We have a week of vacation. I don't understand why they decided to do this at 10:20 a.m."