Brianna Kydes was in the lunchroom at David Wooster Middle School early Tuesday afternoon when word came.
"We were in the lunchroom having lunch and everyone had just sat down. A teacher came in and yelled, 'Everyone! Lockdown! This is not a drill!'" the 13-year-old said.
Indeed, the Lincoln Street school went into lockdown for about 20 minutes yesterday in response to a report of four men carrying weapons in the woods behind the building.
Stratford police described the lockdown as a safety measure taken as a precaution due to the proximity of the incident. The four men were taken into custody without incident and were found to be in possession of two BB guns, police said.
Brianna said she and other students headed to the nearby kitchen, hiding anywhere they couldn't be seen.
"We were standing in the closets and in the back," she said. "Some people were even hidden behind the pizza maker. Anywhere where you can't be seen at eye level."
She hid in a closet with her friend, Caroline.
"We were talking about what we would do," she said. "We sat there and thought, what would happen if someone came in there? We started looking at the kitchen appliances — like a pan. And we thought, if we were to need to do anything, we kept our eye on that. We know there's pressure points and stuff. We kept that in mind."
After about 20 minutes, she said, a teacher came in and sat with them for a few minutes before they were able to clear out of the kitchen.
"It did feel longer than 20 minutes," she said. "I felt safe in the closet where I was ... But then again, you never feel 100 percent safe in these situations."
Her mother, Cindy, told Patch Brianna texted her shortly after the lockdown ended.
"She just said, 'Come right away,'" Cindy said.
"A friend had called me at work. I said, don't tell me anything. I just want to come over and get her. And I didn't know what to expect, so I just came over and got her. But I knew she was safe because she was texting me."