Troy sub who triggered shooter alarm will not be charged; schools eye training

School district thanks staff for their efforts; alarm system is new this year, but similar to past system

TROY — Troy City Schools officials said they reassured staff Monday that measures were being taken to ensure false active shooter alerts such as two that happened Friday morning at the high school don’t happen again.

“To the students, the message was that we are always here for them, we care about them and we are working hard to make the Troy City Schools a safe learning environment,” said David Fong, school communications director.

The school was on a two-hour delay Monday morning to talk with staff and “to thank them for all they do regularly, and particularly in times of distress,” Fong said. There also was a “lot of listening going on, whether it was to hear concerns or suggestions,” he said.

Counselors were available during the day for students in need.

Classes were canceled for the day Friday morning when the second of two false active shooter alerts was broadcast through the high school. The first false alert happened around 7:30 a.m., the second about 9 a.m. The same substitute teacher set off the alerts, school officials and police said.

The substitute will not face criminal charges, Troy Police Chief Shawn McKinney said Monday afternoon.

Police reviewed information available, including interviewing the female and “don’t believe all of the elements for (a charge of) inducing panic were met,” McKinney said.

The substitute “would have to knowingly set it off” to support a charge. Evidence of a knowing action was not found, he said. The decision to not pursue charges followed discussion with prosecutors, McKinney said.

The schools also will be adding training procedures on the alarm system, the district said. This will address how to use the alarm system as well as what to do if an alarm goes off. Training will be for full-time and substitute staff as well as students, Fong said.

The exact nature of the training has not been agreed to, but will be a top priority, he said.

The alarm system at the high school was new to the district this year, but a similar one was in use in the past, district Superintendent Chris Piper told the board of education in his weekly update report.

The system allows staff to trigger an alarm during an active shooter event.

“One of the challenges is to have an alarm that is easy enough to trigger so a staff member can do it under duress, while making it difficult enough to avoid accidental triggers,” Piper wrote.

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