Slidell student arrested for 'prank' that caused school lockdown
SLIDELL - A Pope John Paul II Catholic High School student was arrested after a prank during a lockdown drill forced administrators to lock down the school for real Wednesday.
Slidell Police Department officials said 18-year-old Austin Lang was arrested for interfering with the educational process.
Detectives said Lang wrapped duct tape around a plastic bottle and taped it to a pole outside one of the hallways on campus during a lockdown drill. School administrators found the act suspicious and put the school under an actual lockdown before contacting Slidell Police.
The school remained on lockdown for over an hour while officers investigated, eventually determining that there was no threat to the safety of the school.
"It's a shame this is what our world has come too," Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal said, "but we will not tolerate jokes, pranks, or anything that even resembles a threat to the school. Our detectives have been overwhelmed the last couple of weeks with countless rumors being spread on social media and false threats. We have no choice but to take every situation seriously, which ultimately ends with somone getting arrested and expelled from school."
Faculty from Pope John Paul II Catholic High School released a statement, reading "At Pope John Paul II the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff are priorities for us. Any threat or perceived danger to our school community will be reported and investigated thoroughly. We will not tolerate behavior that threatens or endangers our school family in any way."