Parents react to escaped convicts near schools

RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – The manhunt for the two Florida escapees happened just miles from local schools in the area.

Parents at East Rankin Academy were a little uneasy as they dropped their students off at school this Tuesday morning.

“It is scary because you don’t know what could happen”

Paula Chapman has a son in the 9th grade that goes to East Rankin Academy.

She says as a parent, she had to make sure her student felt comfortable before going to class.

“He wasn’t afraid or anything like that. He just said momma you be careful standing outside,” said Chapman.

Chapman has been working at East Rankin for the last eight years; walking students from their cars inside the school.

“Making sure they’re safe and they’re in the school and making sure there’s a teacher at each school in the hall,” said Chapman.

Windows and doors remained locked during school hours. The school was searched in the early morning and given the all clear before students arrived.

The school remained on lockdown and at least three sheriff’s deputies stayed on campus until students were dismissed.

Authorities continued patrolling the area throughout the day.

“It’s always concerning when you got two escaped convicts out. But you need to keep your eyes open, people need to be vigilant”

Guy Hughes dropped his 5th-grade son off this morning.

He says although the manhunt has him a little concerned, he knows his child will be ok.

“We just told him that our school is safe. Police officers are fond to be on campus today. He just needs to concentrate on his work,” said Hughes.

Sheriff deputies were stationed at multiple schools in the area to make sure students and staff were safe.

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