Students who normally walk home from a St. Petersburg middle school will not be allowed to leave until their parents or guardians pick them up, school authorities said this afternoon.
The cautionary step at Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School, which has been on "lockout" all day, comes as police a few blocks away surrounded a house where two police officers were shot and killed this morning.
Marshall, at 3901 22nd Ave. S, was put on lockout about 8:30 a.m., said principal Dallas Jackson.
The school's 920 students have not been allowed outside on the recreation areas, and authorities have kept entrances locked, Jackson said. But parents have been able to come and go.
It is anticipated that parents and buses will be able to pick up students as usual when school gets out at 2:05 p.m.
"If there's a fugitive … we certainly wouldn't release kids in harm's way," Jackson said. "But in this situation, the chief of police … has said there is no one on the run. So at this point we will release on time, in the normal way that we do release."
That's not the case for students who walk.
The school called the parents of those students and told them their children will not be able to leave campus until they are picked up. Parents and guardians must show proper identification.
It was not immediately clear how many students would be affected. Jackson could not be immediately reached for additional comment.
Jackson said earlier that a few parents called with concerns, wondering whether they should pick up their kids early. "But we just told them it doesn't make any sense to rush out to the school," he said. "The incident is in the vicinity, but it has no direct impact on school operations here."