Test text message confuses, scares students at UAB - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Test text message confuses, scares students at UAB

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This is only a test. But a bit confusing.

"[It was] very confusing, because it just said there's a shooting at a UAB building," UAB student, "Anna-Joe," said. "[It said to] stay inside until further notice

"Yes, it was very confusing," Ameen Barghi said.

"I don't know why they would put details about a shooting if it was just a test," student Brynna Paulakaitis, said.

Students don't understand why UAB would send a 'test' text message to the student body, warning them of a shooting on campus and telling them to stay indoors.

"My roommate actually told me he didn't read the 'This is a test' part and we all started freaking out and locking the doors," Barghi said.

It was sent by text, email and voice mail.

"We had a couple people in our class that didn't read the 'It's just an alert' text and just dropped down to the shooter [part] and people got worried," student David McCallum said.

"It seemed too real to be fake," student Reid Cleveland, said. "But it still said 'test.' So half our class was wondering if it was real or fake."

Some students took the text to heart - and stayed in.

"I read on, after I called my friend, they said they weren't going to class because there was a shooting or something," Paulakaitis said.

Others had to contact their parents telling them not to worry.

"I had to text [my mom] and tell her that it was just a test," "Anna-Joe" said. "She thought UAB was on a lock down."

Students say they applaud UAB for wanting to keep them in the know, but they ask for the next time to do it a little differently.

"The test wasn't in caps or anything, so if you just glossed over it then it was a little frightening, yes," Barghi said.

UAB has released a statement saying they do "routine drills" like this often, but that this was the first time B-Alert was utilized in the text.

They also want to apologize for any confusion students or parents might have had. They say that's why they do these tests...to learn, saying "This is the reason we drill, so that we can improve, and we'll learn from this. Importantly, we will make it more clear that it is a simulation and not an actual emergency."

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