Wharton High School's mascot is the Wildcat, but Thursday, the students were penned in.
"Dismissal will be delayed," a phone call from the school to parents said. "Students are safe inside."
Starting just after 9 a.m., authorities locked down the building after a student said he heard talk of a gun.
"I'm afraid not just only for my daughter, I'm afraid for all the kids," said parent Sammie Cabreja, who waited for hours outside the school.
Deputies searched inch by inch. Students said they were patted down, and lockers and bookbags were checked.
"This was a situation where they had to take care of it and make sure there was nothing here on campus," said school district spokesperson Tanya Arja.
By 4:15PM, after seven hours, the lockdown was lifted and school was dismissed.
Kids said bathroom trips and delivery of school lunches seemed to be few and far between.
"I had to go to the bathroom really really bad," said student Justin Brown. "Desperate times call for desperate measures. I had to pee in a bottle."
Even though nothing dangerous was found, and it was a huge disruption to the school day, officials say the student who reported the gun did the absolute right thing.
"We need any kinds of tips, any kinds of, if you hear something, if you see something, we need students to come forward, we need teachers and staff to come forward, nothing is so small that they should keep it to themselves," Arja said.
Parents and students say relief came when no gun was found.
"I'm just glad because our school kept us safe," said student Layali Soufan.
On Friday, school will be open as normal.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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