The students -- according to the Grand Rapids Press newspaper -- were unaware police were conducting a drill as they were taken from the classroom into the halls, and then patted down by officers. The students were also asked what they had in their pockets, according to the newspaper.
Marge Bradshaw -- a parent with four children in Godfrey-Lee Schools in the area -- said "Some of these kids were so scared, they just about wet their pants … I think it's wrong that the students and parents were not informed of this."
The officers conducting the drill wore protective gear -- including vests and helmets -- and carried rifles that were unloaded and marked with colored tape to indicate they were not live weapons, the Grand Rapids Press reported.
Diana Silva, a parent of an eighth-grade student, stated that the drill went too far: "My child was with his face to the wall in the hallway of the high school … I certainly don't want anything like this happening to my child."
The principal of Lee Middle and High Schools, David Britten, said students weren't told ahead of time in order to make the drill seem as realistic as possible. Even teachers were only informed moments before it took place, according to Britten, who said things went as planned: "I think this is the best way to do it … we're not looking to scare anyone, but we want a sense of urgency."
Wyoming, Michigan Police Chief James Carmody stated that his officers were not aware that students and parents were not told, and added that his department will mandate that parents be notified ahead of time in the future.
"The purpose was to show how we will evacuate the classroom, not to assault the classroom," Carmody said.