© Jeff Harper - Metro Halifax
Students from Sackville High School return home from a band trip to Moncton, N.B. on Thursday. Their trip was cut short after an RCMP manhunt began for a suspect in the shooting of five officers.
A Sackville High School band trip to Moncton took a dramatic turn when the students found themselves in a city locked down and full of fear.
About 40 students and five chaperones were eating dinner at a hotel in Moncton on Wednesday night when Wednesday’s shooting rampage.that left three Mounties dead broke out. The hotel was on lockdown for several hours before the students were shuttled back to their hotel around 11:30 p.m.
The trip began on Tuesday and was set to end on Friday.
“Lots of anxiety for both the parents and the students,” said Halifax Regional School Board spokesperson Doug Hadley. “They were very anxious to get on the bus and come home.”
A planned performance scheduled for Thursday in Amherst was cancelled and the students arrived back at Sackville High just after noon. The bus was quickly unloaded and students were given the rest of the day off.
The students were aware of what was going on in Moncton, but weren’t particularly close to the site of the shootings and didn’t feel in real danger.
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“We felt safe, it wasn’t happening right where we were,” said Chloe Provencal as she left the school property to meet her waiting mother. “Being nervous is a natural reaction, but we were fine.”
For parents who were watching the news unfold back at home, there were a lot of frayed nerves and anxious phone calls.
“This was going to be their last trip together, and for it to end like this is horrible,” said Daphne Reid, whose sons Steven and Chandler were on the trip.
Dawn Snyder heard from her son Johnathon at 9:40 p.m. Wednesday, and she knew right away that something wasn’t normal.
“When the phone rings at 20 to 10, you know it’s not a social call,” she said.