Autocorrected Text Message Puts N.J. High School On Three-Hour Lockdown

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

An autocorrected text message created panic in New Jersey on Friday and resulted in the three-hour lockdown of South Plainfield High School.

Students complained to the Daily News that they were forced to stay in classrooms during an extensive search of the school. Some worried they would have to relieve themselves in garbage cans.

When one woman received a text from her child, a student at the school, she called the police. Authorities did not disclose exactly what the message said.

"Auto correct created a situation where it looked like it was something totally different," said Schools Superintedent Stephen Genco.

He also said the student’s phone wasn’t working properly.

"It created a heck of a mess," Genco added.

At 10:30 a.m. the mother called police. Police and a K9 searched the school, during which time students were kept inside on lock down. The investigation lasted until 1:30 p.m., when state and local authorities gave the all clear.

A mother told the Daily News that male and female students were separated and patted down and their backpacks were searched.

Students complained that the school overreacted.

"All procedures were followed and it was clear that the practice drill we hold in each of our schools assisted in readying the students and staff for this incident," Genco said in a statement to students.

Sources: ABC News, New York Daily News