Pranksters set off fireworks in Jefferson High - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Pranksters set off fireworks in Jefferson High; students believe it's active shooter


A high school prank created quite the scare at Jefferson High School Tuesday.

The Portland School District tells FOX 12 some students set off firecrackers inside of the school during school hours, and the noise was so similar to gunshots that some thought there was an active shooter in the building.

"They're like ‘they're shooting, they're shooting,' kids kind of panicked," said sophomore Kierra Branch.

"It sounded like a shooting, but really fast like a lot of bullets and stuff," said sophomore Alison Wall. "My teacher didn't have us get down, but I know that other classes did have their kids get down under their desks."

The district says the incident happened in the middle of the hallway on the third floor of Jefferson High School.

Thinking that a shooter was walking their hallways, the district says the two classrooms closest to where this happened went into lockdown while the school's vice principal ran up to the third floor to figure out what they were dealing with.

It didn't take long for administrators to realize the noise was just firecrackers, but not before frightening some students.

"It lasted for like 10 seconds, and it kind of startled everyone. A few kids in my classroom just like jumped up," said Senior Elisha Harris.

Administrators called fire crews to figure out the safest way to clean up all of the debris, according to the district.

At this point, the district say's it's unclear if the pranksters were trying to scare kids, or simply thought the firecrackers would be funny. Regardless, students say there's nothing humorous about it.

"Something really dangerous could have happened," said Branch.

Students tell FOX 12 word around school was that this was a senior prank. The district says they are looking into that as a possibility, but aren't ruling any student out.

Administrators say they are currently grilling students to find out the person or people responsible.

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