ELDRIDGE, Iowa – Sandy Way-Humphrey went on Facebook at lunchtime on Friday for an emotional release after the lockdown that occurred hours earlier at North Scott Junior High School.
“I can’t even begin to understand this,” Way-Humphrey posted. “Just the thought of what could have happened changed this community. My heart goes out to these kids, the parents and the school staff.”
Police say a 12-year-old student armed with a loaded .22-caliber handgun entered the school at around 8:30 a.m.
Few details have been released about what happened next, but Eldridge Police in a press release announced no shots were ever fired and “a female Jr High teacher is being credited with disarming the student before police arrived.”
The 12-year-old has been detained and charged with attempted murder along with a weapons violation.
“This one hit here at home, one block away from my kids,” Way-Humphrey, shown in the above photo with her family, writes in her post.
“And these kids and my kids will never be the same.”
North Scott Junior High is part of a small district based in Eldridge, population 6,300, which attracts families like Way-Humphrey's partly because of its quiet structure.
“I took my kids out of Davenport Schools when they were still in elementary school so they could have a small town childhood in Eldridge,” Way-Humphrey says of her daughters Carina, 16, and Kelsey, 15.
Both girls are in high school now but also went on lockdown during the police response and investigation at the junior high.
Way-Humphrey is grateful no one was hurt and has high praise for the way the teacher and school leaders handled the incident.
Still, she and other parents are worried about the impact.
“Whether shots were fired or not, our kids, our town, we just fit like a puzzle piece into this national epidemic of small town America disappearing,” Way-Humphrey tells KWQC.
“These kids will always remember the time a kid brought a loaded gun to school for the rest of their lives.”
Other community members also took to Facebook Friday to vent, offer support, and to urge calm.
“We all want to know all the details,” Trisha Poole posted.
“We will never know everything about the situation. Hopefully we will get accurate information from a trusted source sooner than later. Unfortunately this is the investigation, of a serious crime, of a minor.”
While they wait to learn more, parents like Heather Kane, who indicated on Facebook her child was in the classroom where the incident occurred Friday, are anxious about their kids’ emotional well-being.
“No child should have to experience that. No child should feel unsafe at school,” Kane posted.
“The teacher is a hero but I cannot imagine how she must be feeling. It makes me sad that no place is safe anymore. Not even our small town North Scott schools.”