Published: 09:43, 08 February 2019
| Updated: 10:50, 08 February 2019
A school has said the only crime of a youth spotted with a gun was 'ignorance' after staff issued a stranger danger message.
Pupils were told to stay inside Fulston Manor School in Brenchley Road, Sittingbourne, yesterday afternoon after a member of the public reported a "suspicious looking person" with a weapon.
Youngsters were also warned to avoid walking home towards Sittingbourne Community College in Swanstree Avenue.
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A statement released today from the school said: "We received a report a youth was walking past the school yesterday.
"We immediately went on lockdown until we were told it was safe. At no point did the youth access the school site and had no wish to do so.
"His crime was ignorance. It is safe to send your children to school. It's business as usual."
WATCH: School releases statement after suspicious person seen with gun
In an email to parents this morning, head teacher Alan Brookes said: "As you may be aware the school went into external lockdown for a brief period after school last night following reports of a man with a rifle in Brenchley Road.
"The man turned out to be a 16-year-old boy going home with an airgun he had just collected from the house of a friend whose father had serviced it for him.
"The school has been in contact with both the police and the boy’s parents, there is no suggestion that there was any danger to anyone yesterday evening and there are no problems today.
"Although it turned out there was no threat I would like to commend the speed with which staff responded to the information we received and hope you are reassured by the steps that were taken to ensure no student was exposed to any possible harm.
"The only people on Brenchley Road during this event were colleagues and I would wish to pay tribute to them on your behalf."
Mr Brookes added, although most pupils had already left for the day, a small number were doing extra activities.
Speaking to KentOnline he added: "It's frustrating that someone is thoughtless enough not to consider what might come from this.
"It was a misunderstanding but I think everyone responded in the way we needed to. Hopefully we won't need to respond in that way again."
Police were called at 3.40pm but no offences were committed and no suspects were identified.
More by this authorEllis Stephenson