BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — During the violent attack at McKinley High School, Buffalo State College was ordered to shelter in place.

When students received that alert from University Police it caused panic throughout the campus.

“Nothing like this has happened before, so they didn’t know what was going on,” said second-year student and resident assistant George Dalquah. “They kind of freaked out a little bit.”

“We hear a lot about school shootings often, but I never thought I would be close to one,” said Dynelis Santana.

Parents expected students to lock the classroom doors, which is what the college’s active shooter response procedures tell them to do. But one parent who spoke with News 4 said their child’s professor was unable to lock the door and other classrooms don’t lock at all.

Those active shooter plans also tell students to make sure no one can be seen from outside the classroom, but for some spaces, that’s not possible.

“The library is full glass,” Santana said. “You can just see through everything.”

Interim Chief for University Police Amy Pedlow said those instructions qualify for “active shooter” situations, which is not what happened at McKinley. She referred to the alert at Buffalo State as a “shelter in place,” meaning students couldn’t leave the building. Pedlow said the shelter in place was to keep students safe, but it was also to clear the area, which was so close to the McKinley investigation.

“We had no credible information, we were just trying to assist Buffalo Police in their investigation and keep our campus community safe at the same time,” Pedlow said.

Concerns from parents and students are still real, regardless of the terminology regarding the school’s safety plans. Pedlow said this will start conversations with the college to eventually form solutions to these issues.

Abby Fridmann is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in November 2020. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.