VERONA (WKOW) -- The superintendent of Verona Area schools confirms to 27 News some elementary school students were required to urinate in buckets during Thursday's lockdown of all of the district's schools.
"I am not comfortable with what happened," superintendent Dean Gorrell tells 27 News.
Gorrell says the schools were in "hard" lockdown, as the result of FBI agents and other law enforcement officers searching areas near the school for federal fugitive Paris Poe of Illinois. Authorities say Poe was wanted in connection with an armed robbery conviction, and also as a person-of-interest in a federal murder investigation.
Gorrell says staff members at one elementary school followed emergency lockdown protocol by taking students to a gymnasium area.
Gorrell says several boys who needed to urinate were taken by staff members to either the janitor's closet, or an area with a privacy barrier, and urinated in buckets.
Gorrell did not identify at which of the district's four elementary schools some students were required to use buckets.
Gorrell tells 27 News teachers or staff members should have escorted students to bathrooms.
In a letter to the school community posted Friday on the Verona Area School District's web site, Gorrell makes no mention of the use of buckets during Thursday's lockdown, but does acknowledge complaints from parents over failing to receive notification of the lockdown of the schools. Gorrell explains Verona's school emergency notification system requires a sign-up in order to deliver an email or text alert. Gorrell says a new system will be going on-line to deliver emergency notifications to school community members with no sign-up requirement.
Dane County Emergency Management officials say complaints were also lodged with them over the failure of some people in the area of the search for Poe to receive reverse 911 calls, despite more than 17,000 calls being placed Thursday.
Spokesperson J. McLellan says residents with Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telephone systems must sign-up to receive reverse 911 calls. McLellan says VOIP systems are often part of cable package subscriptions, and there's no available database for emergency officials to draw on to make notifications.
McLellan says people who use cell phone exclusively must also register to receive emergency notifications from county units on their phones.
Here is a link to Dane County Emergency Management's warning services page:
Poe was captured Thursday night on a highway in Madison after a traffic stop. Officials say he remains at the Dane County jail, with officials expected to seek his extradition to Illinois.
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