In light of the many violent incidents occurring in recent years at schools nationwide, administrators at Field-Stevenson Elementary School and Forest Park police officers wasted no time issuing a hard lockdown for the school, Thursday afternoon.

Following reports of loud gunshot-type noises coming from behind the school, police called a hard lockdown around 12:40 p.m. Upon investigation of the sounds, law enforcement personnel were able to conclude that the noise came from firecrackers blown off at a house near the school. The lockdown was cancelled at 12:45 p.m.

According to District 91 communication manager Rebecca Latham, hard and soft lockdown levels are enacted by administrators and law enforcement depending on the situation.

During a hard lockdown, all outside doors and classroom doors are locked, lights are turned off and students and faculty move to the safest corner of the classroom where they remain silent. Nobody is allowed to leave the classroom during the lockdown and police conduct a walk-through of the building.

In a soft lockdown, all building doors are locked but students and faculty are allowed to remain at their desks until the lockdown is cancelled.

During the incident, Latham said, faculty and students reacted well and the rest of the day went smoothly.

“Lockdowns are practiced frequently, and therefore, the staff and students knew what to do in that situation,” she said. “District 91 is very proud of how calmly, quickly and professionally the staff and students handled the situation.”  (For more see Forest Park police reports.)