Lockdown stemmed from fight over a girl

May. 04, 2014 @ 08:07 AM

It took several hours after she got an automated phone call saying that her son's high school had been locked down Thursday morning before Jennifer Austin realized that she and her 16-year-old son were at the center of it.

And she was stunned when she heard some of the stories being circulated about what happened.

It all started, Austin said, as a dispute over a girl.

She said her son initially stayed at home Thursday morning because he was afraid of another boy who she said made threatening comments on Facebook.

"My son was dating a girl, and she tried to get him jealous by dating the other boy," Austin said Friday.

But later Thursday morning her son decided to go to the school and fight the other boy.

When her son headed out the door to walk the two-mile distance from the family's Cajah's Mountain Road home to South Caldwell High, Austin called the school to try to head off a fight. But her son got only about 50 yards away from the house before Austin's grandfather stopped him and brought him home, she said.

A Caldwell County Sheriff's Office deputy then showed up at the house, talked to her son and left.

Shortly afterward, Austin got the automated call from the school system announcing that South Caldwell had gone into a lockdown, but it was Thursday evening before she realized why the school was locked down.

"I never made that connection," she said.

Libby Brown, public information officer for Caldwell County Schools, said Thursday that South Caldwell switched to a hard lockdown -- when all inside doors in the school also are locked -- after a call saying that a student on the way to the school was armed.

But Austin said her son doesn't have a gun, never had a gun and never threatened to bring a gun or other weapon to school.

"Guns had nothing to do with the school situation and the other boy," she said.

Austin said she plans for her son to stay at home the remainder of the school year.