HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Northeast Tennessee authorities have responded to Volunteer High School in Hawkins County Tuesday morning after an “emergency situation” prompted lockdowns at multiple schools.
According to dispatchers at the Hawkins County Emergency Communications District, police are responding to a situation at the school. No further details were released by dispatchers.
The Hawkins County School District posted to Facebook saying that an “emergency situation” had taken place at VHS.
Previously, all Hawkins County Schools from Surgoinsville to East Hawkins County had been placed on lockdown. However, as of 9:40 a.m., VHS remains the only school still on lockdown.
All students at VHS are in the process of being evacuated to the Mount Carmel National Guard Armory, according to the post. The school district reports the students have been taken by bus and escorted to the armory to be reunited with their parents.
“Our major concern at this time is for the safety of our students and staff; please stay clear of the area to allow law enforcement and emergency personnel access to the area,” the post states.
An earlier post from the school district warned parents that the school had gone into lockdown and stated they should not attempt to enter the school. Parents are told to wait in their vehicles at the armory for their children.
News Channel 11’s reporters on the scene said armed officers could be seen entering the school, and parents are lined up in their vehicles on Highway 11W. Students could be seen leaving the school on buses with armed officers. Students leaving could be seen holding out thumbs up as they departed.
News Channel 11 has reached out to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office for more information.
Emergency dispatchers are asking people to not call 911 in regards to the situation at the school. Hawkins County Emergency Communications tweeted saying they should only be contacted if you have an emergency and told parents of VHS students to go to the armory.
The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, Mount Carmel Police Department, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, Kingsport Police Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Church Hill Police Department all responded to the high school.