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Renaissance Charter School in Wellington cleared after reports of weapon on campus

No weapons located, deputies say
Students are evacuated from Renaissance Charter School, located in the 3200 block of U.S. 441 in Wellington, on Feb. 3, 2022 (1).jpg
Students are evacuated from Renaissance Charter School, located in the 3200 block of U.S. 441 in Wellington, on Feb. 3, 2022.jpg
Students are evacuated from Renaissance Charter School, located in the 3200 block of U.S. 441 in Wellington, on Feb. 3, 2022 (2).jpg
Palm Beach County deputies respond to Renassiance Charter School, located in the 3200 block of U.S. 441 in Wellington, on Feb. 3, 2022.jpg
Posted at 10:52 AM, Feb 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-03 23:26:20-05

WELLINGTON, Fla. — The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office conducted an investigation Thursday after receiving reports that a weapon was found on the campus of Renaissance Charter School in Wellington, authorities said.

Out of an abundance of caution, the school — located in the 3200 block of U.S. 441 — was evacuated and students were bussed to nearby Olympia Park, where parents could pick them up.

A school spokesperson said Renaissance Charter was placed under a code red lockdown around 9:30 a.m. Thursday after a teacher received a tip that a possible weapon was seen on campus.

Deputies arrived and found no weapons or immediate threat.

However, out of caution, the school was evacuated and all students were told to leave their backpacks on campus so they could be searched by authorities.

A school spokesperson said "all students and staff are safe and there is no immediate danger at the school."

Exclusive video from WPTV Chopper 5 showed hundreds of children filing out of the school in a line, with a majority of them getting into school buses. PBSO deputies on motorcycles then led the buses away from campus.

WATCH CHOPPER 5 VIDEO:

Students evacuated from Renaissance Charter School

The sheriff's office said parents could pick their children up at nearby Olympia Park, located at 9830 Stribling Way in Wellington, right behind Emerald Cove Elementary School.

In a letter to parents, the school's principal said all students were safe, but deputies were conducting a backpack search that they said, "will take a very long time."

"Therefore, they’ve advised us to send students home for the rest of the day," Christopher Hamilton-Glinton wrote to parents. "All backpacks and personal belongings have been left at school and will be searched throughout the afternoon."

Hamilton-Glinton said all students — starting with the youngest grades first — were bussed to Olympia Park.

"Youngest students will be dismissed first," Hamilton-Glinton wrote. "If they have a sibling that has not yet arrived at the reunification site, you can pick up your youngest child and will be directed to come back through to pick up siblings when they arrive."

All told, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said 844 children, teachers, and administrators were taken from Renaissance Charter School to Olympia Park.

Students are evacuated from Renaissance Charter School, located in the 3200 block of U.S. 441 in Wellington, on Feb. 3, 2022 (1).jpg
Students are evacuated from Renaissance Charter School, located in the 3200 block of U.S. 441 in Wellington, on Feb. 3, 2022.
Students are evacuated from Renaissance Charter School, located in the 3200 block of U.S. 441 in Wellington, on Feb. 3, 2022 (2).jpg
Students are evacuated from Renaissance Charter School, located in the 3200 block of U.S. 441 in Wellington, on Feb. 3, 2022.

For hours Thursday, dozens of PBSO law enforcement vehicles surrounded the school and sheriff's office helicopters searched the area from the air.

The sheriff's office originally said it had received reports of an active shooter at the school, which turned out to be unfounded.

Renaissance Charter School is a K-8 property and is operated by Charter Schools USA, according to its website.

Thursday evening, officials said the investigation revealed that a student saw another student with what appeared to be a handgun. The student immediately notified a teacher/administration.

No weapons were located, and deputies cleared the school.

PBSO said in a news release that is proud of the student coming forward with what he/she perceived as a threat to themselves and the school.