See on site photos of police activity at KIPP Ujima Village and Harmony Academies in Baltimore, Maryland. Approximately 9:30 am Thursday, April 3, 2014, I stood on the corner of Dupont and Greenspring Ave and watched police activities at the KIPP Schools. Not knowing the situation, I began contacting parents. Parents arrived and began contacting parents. Parents began questioning the safety of their children and wanted immediate answers. Police from many jurisdictions hastily responded to the KIPP Schools. Helicopters flew over the school. Tactical unit vehicle arrived on the scene. Several hours later, SWAT team was seen entering the school. An ambulance with siren blasting swiftly arrived to the scene. Frustrated parents watched wondering why such activity and hoping for a pleasing outcome. At 11:53 am while police activity amplified, parents were told that students were safe and were being bused to a nearby high school as a precaution. Parents rushed to the nearby high school to meet their child. Bused students from KIPP arrived many hours later as parents cheered. Weary parents waited many hours through sun and rain to receive their children, some not arriving home until 5 and 6 pm.
At a parent meeting on Friday at 1:30 pm, at KIPP Ujima Academy, Principal Lucas explained, “Two students saw a white male with a backpack. Extended from that backpack was a tripod that looked like a weapon and informed their teacher”.
I personally know that there have been many incidents at KIPP Ujima over the past several weeks that have placed staff, administrator, and parents on alert. It is my personal belief that school administrators, while thinking of the safety of students, panicked and then reacted as an extension of being on alert due to prior incidents.