Code Yellow lockdown lifted after fireworks set off on campus of Jacksonville high school

Principal says student who set off fireworks is facing school discipline, as well as ‘possible criminal charges’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A high school on Jacksonville’s Westside was placed on a Code Yellow lockdown Wednesday after fireworks were set off on the campus, according to Duval County Public Schools.

The school district provided News4JAX with the messages that were sent to families of Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology students about the incident.

According to the first message, fireworks were set off in the morning on the campus located on Wilson Boulevard in the Cedar Hills neighborhood. The district said in the message that all students and staff were safe, but the fireworks did “cause a major security concern at the school,” so the campus was placed on a Code Yellow lockdown out of an abundance of caution as school leadership worked with police to investigate the incident.

A second message was then sent by Principal Jessica Mastromatto, saying the Code Yellow lockdown had been lifted and school had resumed as normal.

The message also states that the student responsible for setting off the fireworks was identified due to the work of school staff and school police, along with assistance from students. The message confirms that the student is facing school discipline, as well as “possible criminal charges.”

“I am very disappointed by what happened and the disruption it caused our campus, but I am so thankful that everyone remained safe and that our staff and students responded exactly as they have been trained to do. I am also proud of our students in assisting with the investigation into this incident. By doing so, they showed they were taking ownership of the safety of our campus,” the principal wrote.

Below are the entire messages that were sent to students’ families.

First communication

“Good Morning Frank H. Peterson families,

“This is Duval County Public Schools calling. First we want to let you know you that all students and staff are safe. Again, all students and staff are safe. However, there was an incident this morning where fireworks appeared to be set off on the campus. Thankfully, everyone remained safe during this incident. However, it did cause a major security concern at the school. As a result, the school will be on a Code Yellow out of an abundance of caution while school leadership works with police to investigate this incident. Again, the school will be on a precautionary Code Yellow as the school investigates. We will follow up with you when the situation is resolved. Thank you.”

Follow-up communication

“Hello Frank H. Peterson families,

“This is Principal Mastromatto, and I am calling with a good update to the news you received earlier. We have lifted the code yellow at our school. Again, we have lifted the code yellow and have resumed school as normal. The student responsible for setting off the fireworks has been identified thanks to the work of our staff and school police with great assistance from students. I can confirm that the student is facing school discipline as well as possible criminal charges. I am very disappointed by what happened and the disruption it caused our campus, but I am so thankful that everyone remained safe and that our staff and students responded exactly as they have been trained to do. I am also proud of our students in assisting with the  investigation into this incident. By doing so, they showed they were taking ownership of the safety of our campus. Thank you as always for your patience and support as we take measures to keep our children safe. I hope you have a great remainder of your day!”