Hamilton County Schools ramped up security in light of Monday night's shooting death of a 13-year-old boy.
Superintendent Rick Smith said the school system decided to take no chances.
The system put seven schools in the southern, western and central part of the school district on lock-out.
Police were hearing rumors of retaliation after the shooting death of 13-year-old Deontrey Southers. They shared that information with school leaders.
In turn, the school system decided to go on lock-out not because of what may happen inside the schools, but the neighborhoods around the seven schools.
At Calvin Donaldson Elementary in Alton Park, police officers stayed parked outside. Officers had also been inside the school yesterday and today. Smith explained why, "We started hearing phrases like retaliation and some of those kinds of things."
That came in the aftermath of the shooting death of Southers on Monday night.He was inside the home at 1501 East 50th Street, but was shot from the outside. He's not believed to be the target.
Smith elaborated, "Law enforcement was letting us know that there may have been some older individuals that were targeted in that area. Of course anytime you hear that they may have young children, they may have nieces or nephews that would attend school and quite frankly may even be the people that take the children to school."
And that's why the concern arose. Mayor Andy Berke spoke yesterday about the police investigation."They have put every resource available towards this effort. I can assure you they take this incredibly seriously and have been on top of it over the last day and a half."
The most police were at Calvin Donaldson Elementary. The lockout also applied at Clifton Hills Elementary, Orchard Knob Elementary, Orchard Knob Middle, East Lake Elementary, East Lake Middle and Howard.The lockout means all external doors are locked, with the exception of the main entry door.
Visitors must check in at the office with school resource officers or police in the hallways expected. "This is just simply more of a precautionary step on our part to make sure we know where our children are, who's in our building, who's on our campus," Smith said.
The lockout will continue at all seven schools tomorrow.PREVIOUS STORY
The shooting death of a 13-year-old student has apparently led to stepped up security at several Chattanooga schools.
Supt. Rick Smith says they have asked for increased security at Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy (pictured above)
, Clifton Hills Elementary School, East Lake Elementary School, East Lake Academy (Middle School), Howard High School, Orchard Knob Elementary School and Orchard Knob Middle School.
Deontrey Southers was inside his home, killed by a bullet during an apparent drive-by shooting on East 50th St.
Police are not publicly calling this shooting gang-related, but it also hasn't been ruled out.
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke viewed the shooting as a call to action
"Ultimately we have to change the cycle so that you don't see, based on respect, people just shooting at me because I shot at you and the cycle just continues on and on. And the retaliation never stops. We've got to break that cycle," Berke said.
We'll have more the developing story here and on NewsChannel 9 at 5 and 6.