We got locked down for hours.
Half an hour before the lunch bell was supposed to ring, the PA system rang out with a dark message from the principal:
Teachers and students, this is a lockdown. Lock all your doors and open them for no one until the lockdown is lifted.
We drilled these a few times. We'd have prior knowledge of it and it usually just happened in the last 15 minutes of the class before lunch. We'd be locked down for 5 minutes, some "cops" and some "shooters" would try to get into the classrooms. The staff was supposed to keep all doors locked unless the people trying to get in said the password. Then a second announcement would lift the lockdown and we'd all "evacuate" to the football field. There, we'd have roll call, some kids would be "missing", and the staff and student council and the JROTC would do a search, badges and radios and all, or so I heard.
We didn't have prior warnings for this one. Which sucks 'cause now we'd probably be missing a good chunk of lunch (most of the "emergencies" we've had were false alarms, but they took an hour or so to clear; this meant missing either a class [yay!] or lunch [aww...]). Sucks too, 'cause the teacher who's class I was in also sponsored a club that sold grilled hotdogs and soda during lunch, which I loved.
Half an hour turns into a whole. We'd already finished the day's lessons fifteen minutes before, and now the teacher just let us do our thing. Suddenly people get reports from their friends from other classes of armored cops with rifles and dogs walking through classrooms. This was now the real deal, and we'd gotten a little more scared. Mostly bored, though. Good thing is, the teacher fired up the grill and started serving us food for a discount!
Five of our classmates start getting agitated. Soda's gotten to them, they gotta piss. Fortunately, the restroom is right next to the classroom. We weren't supposed to leave the room, but our teacher was a sensible one. We'd rather not have them start claiming corners. (We learned later on that other classes had to go in the trash cans, given privacy by friends who screened for them. Later, every class got a lockdown survival kit which was, principally, a bucket with a toilet seat and filled with cat litter. Along with snacks and I think a radio. Still no privacy for bucket-goers, though.)
Our five left the classroom for all of 2 minutes. They came back spooked, one with a significant amount of backsplash on his pants. They had been held up against the urinals at gunpoint when police were sweeping through the restrooms. They came through our classroom shortly after that, these 3 guys with M4s, pistols, SWAT gear, and a German Shepherd.
We were coming up on hour 3. We've heard reports of dogs going crazy at students after sniffing out their weed. After that, reports of students throwing their weed out the windows en masse. Our class just ate hotdogs and played hangman on the whiteboard.
Sometime during all this some kids with smartphones got a general idea of what was going on. A cop confronted some guy in blue jeans and a bomber jacket just outside the school. There was an argument, and the cop got shot in the chest. Wore a vest, but still taken via ambulance to the hospital. By this time we've been hearing what must've been news and LAPD choppers in the air for some time.
Memory's hazy of the event but I think we were there 2 hours after normal dismissal, for about 5 hours in total. When we got out, there were cops everywhere. They made us do this kind of deathmarch to a nearby strip mall parking lot probably about 2 miles down where we could all be picked up by parents. The nearby freeway onramp was shut down, too.
So we're walking, along with full police escort, which reminded me of the Bataan Death March or the Trail of Tears, what with the armed cops flanking us. I actually managed to get lost; I don't know how, since I went to that strip mall often. It was only then that I really beheld the magnitude of the event. About 6-10 area schools in total were locked down, with only 2 lifted at normal dismissal hours. The search for the gunman cost the LAPD somewhere in the 7 figures. A neighboring middle school was actually ferrying students to the same rendezvous point via school buses. It looked like a prerequisite to D-Day, seriously.
When we finally got to the strip mall, we went to the McDonalds there (that place must've made bank that day). We didn't get even fifty feet of the place before the heavy stench hit us. I actually gagged.
Celebratory joints everywhere, from people who managed to sneak their stashes through the dogs and cops. I managed to get myself a McChicken and sweet tea from a distressed and clearly underpaid worker, and got the hell out of there.
It was Wednesday.
So it turned out that there was no shooter. Cop shot himself. I think he had some sort of marital problems and was trying to solve it via some sort of financial compensation from the city. Maybe a nasty divorce with a hefty alimony/child support? Dunno, whatever. All I know is that cop is in deeeeeep shiiiiiit. I mean he cost the LAPD millions of dollars, made the city look like idiots for missing that much weed, tried to commit fraud, and worst of all, he wasted a couple thousand of kids' afternoons.
There was another lockdown the next week. Wednesday too. Only lasted an hour and some kid with an attitude who was threatening to use a (possibly nonexistent) gun was taken away. We were hoping it would turn into a weekly tradition. We'd started bringing picnic items (and I think someone brought a Gamecube) to school on Wednesdays in anticipation. Didn't happen again, though.