Some students say they were fearful for their lives after Monroe Community College erroneously sent out a message regarding an immediate lockdown at its Brighton campus.

A school spokesperson said those messages, including a post from the school's twitter account, were meant to go out as a drill.

Instead, the message raised fears and caused panic regarding a possible active threat at the school. 

Tony Perez, MCC Chief of Public Safety, tells Spectrum News that the alert was worded as planned, but was not intended to be tweeted publicly.

According to Perez, the drill began at 1:29 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, but it only lasted for seven minutes after it was posted on social media.

“Our emergency operations manager originally put it out as a lockdown, but in looking it over and seeing the very quick feedback we received, the exercise was cut short,” added Perez. 

According to Perez, lockdown alerts are only supposed to be sent through text messages and emails.

Students expressed a wide range of emotions after receiving the alert.

“Honestly I’m okay with it because in a real life scenario you’re not going to get a warning what so ever, you’ll be lucky to get any warning and this is like a simulation. So I can honestly respect that. It doesn’t mean it’s any less anxiety-inducing,” said Zachary Plummer, MCC freshman. 

Audrey Sample lost a sister two years ago to an illness and was texting her brother telling him she loved him. She says she doesn’t feel safe anywhere anymore.

 “Everyone in my classroom was having a panic attack and shaking and sobbing and holding each other. When I came out into the hallway after the apparent drill was over and everything was all clear, the hallways were just filled with students crying on the phone with their parents, letting them know that they were still alive,” added Sample. 

“By the time I got to her I realized it was a drill and I was angry, I was really angry at the idea that these drills are being done in ways that traumatize people that are sometimes frightened,” said Lauren Sample, Audrey's mother.



Less than ten minutes later, the school sent out another tweet, saying the emergency situation was over and to resume normal operations.



The school released a statement, apologizing for the confusion.

"This afternoon at approximately 1:35 p.m. MCC conducted a lockdown drill at the Brighton Campus. There was no emergency. Unfortunately, the alert was not identified as a drill. We sincerely apologize for the concern this caused. All future drills will be clearly identified."

MCC president Anne Kress sent out an email to trustees Tuesday evening saying the alert originated from a single employee in Public Safety. She added that going forward, MCC wil be adding a layer of review for all drill messages to make sure this type of error never happens again. Additionally, students will be notified ahead of time regarding future drills.