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Smartphone auto-correct puts school in lockdown
Story posted 2012.02.29 at 05:46 PM EST

A wrong number and a word changed by a smartphone's auto-correct feature put two Hall County schools on lockdown Wednesday, school officials said.

The Hall County Sheriff's Office said someone received an anonymous text message that read "gunman be at west hall today" and immediately called police to report it.

Authorities called administrators at West Hall High School and neighboring West Hall Middle School and asked that both campuses be locked down because of the threat.

Police monitored the school while others looked for the phone that sent the text message, eventually finding the owner, who told a much different story.

Police found out the person who sent the text message was a student at Lanier Tech who had tried to send a message to a friend at West Hall High School. The sender intended to type "gunna be at west hall" but the phone corrected his misspelling to "gunman to be at west hall." Secondly, police said the phone's owner also typed in the wrong phone number and sent the message to a complete stranger.

The lockdown ended at the school campus just before 2 p.m. Officials said the learning experience was a good exercise to see how well police and school officials reacted to an emergency.


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