PVCC Tweet Claiming Active Shooter on Campus Sparks Confusion
A bit of chaos ensued Monday evening after a tweet sent out by Piedmont Virginia Community College that stated an active shooter was on campus turned out to be just a drill.
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A bit of chaos ensued Monday evening in Albemarle County after a tweet sent out by Piedmont Virginia Community College that stated an active shooter was on campus turned out to be just a drill.
PVCC administrators say the school held several active shooter drills on Monday, February 18.
While students were clued in on them beforehand, some community members now feel like they were left in the dark.
The school tweeted shortly after 7 p.m. saying "gunshots reported on campus. Lockdown immediately. Stay in secure location until further notice. Disregard alarms."
It then followed up with another tweet 10 minutes later stating that it was a drill and people should “resume normal activities.”
People on social media raised concerns about the alarming initial tweet because it did not in any way indicate that it was just for a drill.
Now, Richard Seweryniak, a cybersecurity professor at PVCC says students, faculty, and staff were notified over a week in advance about the drill.
"Even though they may seem scary at this time during a drill type of event, they're much more scary in real life,” Seweryniak said. “So it’s very important to know where to go. So the students that were unprepared at that time, they asked where should we go, what is going on, and I informed them it was a drill and this is where we would go in the event of an emergency."
Multiple drills were held both in the early afternoon and evening so that students who attend the college both during the day and at night would be prepared in case of a real emergency.
The drill that took place earlier in the day also had a tweet associated with it, but this one addressed the fact that it was a drill at both the beginning and the end of the message.