Avast! You just can’t be too safe these days, maties, which is why officials at a rural North Carolina school district locked down four public schools after somebody spotted an elementary school teacher dressed as a pirate.
The freebooter fracas occurred in the small town of Richlands, N.C. on International Talk Like A Pirate Day — Sept. 19 (every year). Full details concerning the lockdown have only come out this week, however, according to local ABC affiliate WCTI.
Richlands Elementary School was the first school to be locked down, just after 10 a.m., after a cafeteria staffer saw a “suspicious person.”
Specifically, explains a sheriff’s office report released Wednesday, the food service worker saw the teacher dressed up as a pirate and mistook the plastic sword part of the costume as a gun.
Richlands Elementary School had been celebrating pirates all week, area NBC affiliate WITN reports. Nevertheless, the cafeteria worker called the school office about the “suspicious person.”
“Shiver me timbers!” officials in the office must have exclaimed, and they initiated a process which resulted in lockdowns at three other Onslow County schools: Richlands Primary School, Trexler Middle School and Richlands High School.
The lockdowns lasted for about three hours. Law enforcement officials searched the schools for the “suspicious person.” They brought police dogs.
The “suspicious person” was not found during the lockdown despite intense efforts.
No students or teachers were allowed to leave their schools throughout the duration of the lockdowns.
The report from the sheriff’s office noted that the pirate garb-festooned teacher puts on a pirate costume each year to celebrate International Talk Like A Pirate Day.
“After a thorough review of this incident, it has been determined that school personnel working in conjunction with law enforcement agencies handled the situation in a very professional manner and followed all protocols to the letter,” an Onslow County Sheriff spokesman lauded in a press release, according to WCTI.
The parody holiday that is International Talk Like A Pirate Day is the brainchild of a couple guys from Albany, Ore. The annual celebration has been growing in popularity since its inception in 1995.
The Talk Like A Pirate website includes a lot of information and useful tools including an English-to-Pirate translator.