Last week’s lockdown of Johnson Hall brought about a lot of concerns. According to Tech’s website, the evacuation of the academic building was around 12:30 p.m. Aug. 31. The lockdown occurred shortly after someone informed University police that a person with bullets was seen in a restroom in the building. Afterwards, a more thorough search of the building was conducted by police officers who were stationed there during the investigation. All classes in Johnson Hall were cancelled for the day and evening. Tech students were also informed about the incidents by e-mail. An all-clear was issued around 2 p.m.
James Jordan-Wagner, the College of Business dean, said that he had never witnessed such an incident at Tech.
“It’s the first time since I’ve been here. I have been here for two years. It was reassuring to have the police be so responsive. They were here for our security.”
Chas Hayes, a senior business major, was in the building when the lockdown was announced.
“I was in this computer lab,” Hayes said. “I thought it was a drill. Next thing I knew, Tech police were patrolling the building. It was so sudden. I was skeptical until Cookeville police showed up on the scene with assault rifles and guns.
“I felt uncomfortable. Afterwards, a crowd started to form near the building. I’ve never been a part of a lockdown at Tech.”
According Tech’s student handbook, carrying a gun on campus is prohibited. Such behavior may be regarded as a disciplinary offence.
As stated in the student handbook, “State law prescribes a maximum penalty of six years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $3,000 for having weapons on school property. Violation of this law is a felony. Even individuals with handgun permits may not bring handguns on property owned or operated by Tennessee Tech.