The Avery County Sheriff's Office has addressed the situation involving the lockdown at Banner Elk Elementary School on Monday. Below is their full statement:
Today was one of those days when all the training and work put in by law enforcement and our school system really paid off in keeping kids safe.
Near Banner Elk Elementary School this afternoon, a man was seen outside the school with a large knife. The school went on “Lockdown” and law enforcement quickly responded to the threat. The man was threatening to harm himself and after several minutes of trying to get him to lay the knife down it was apparent he was serious and left no other option than the use of non-lethal force by hitting him with “bean-bag rounds”.
After being struck the man dropped the knife and was placed in custody and taken to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation. We hope he gets the help he needs.
The stronger point is that all the practice and training worked flawlessly by a prepared school system and law enforcement. The next time you child or children come home saying how they hate these drills we do, please tell them we do it for their safety and it is important to take it seriously.
In the world today we have to be prepared and ready for all possible circumstances, so please tell your school system how much you appreciate all they do to keep your children safe.