JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- The situation that forced lockdowns at Fletcher Middle School and other beaches schools is this morning was a hoax, according to the principal of Fletcher Middle School.
An all clear indication came at about 10:40 today.
"There was no danger at any time. It was kind of a crazy morning," Fletcher Middle Principal Don Nelson told the students over the school's loudspeaker shortly after the all clear. "There were more police than I've seen in one place in my life."
PICTURES: Lockdown at Fletcher
School district spokesperson Jill Johnson said at 9:09 this morning, police received a call stating four people had gotten out of a van with firearms at Fletcher Middle School.
"At this time, they have not found anything; the schools have been cleared," Johnson said as the situation was wrapping up.
She added that the school day will continue as normal, though she expects police presence to remain at the school.
"I hope the person that did this sets a real up-close and personal time with not only the police, but a judge and some jail time to boot," said Nelson, in his public statement to students after the incident.
Johnson added that parents will be allowed to pick up their children if they choose to do so.
Fletcher Middle has nearly 1,100 students and Nelson said 250 were checked out by parents in the hour after the all clear.
"It was not a typical day, but went extremely smoothly," said Nelson. "Jacksonville Beach police whom we work with routinely...trained this summer here at the school to do this exact type of thing that happened here today.
According to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department, in addition to the schools, the surrounding area was also on lockdown.
Joe Lawson, whose daughter attends Fletcher Middle, said, "Even though they claim everything is safe, you can never be too safe."
First Coast News