A lone gunman bursts into a school — no, wait, five gunmen. Police are called. The school is locked down. Emergency Task Force officers arrive and search the building, room by room. Nearby streets are blocked off. A sobbing, pregnant woman is wheeled out on a stretcher.

A faux emergency unfolded at the Bickford Centre Thursday, fuelled by the rumour mill and a student who, unaware the school was in the midst of what was actually a lockdown drill, texted a friend, who called police.

There were no gunmen — and no, the principal and caretaker were not taken hostage, although a pregnant woman was in distress given all the chaos.

The centre houses adult English as a Second Language classes as well as a small, alternative high school at Bloor Street West near Christie Street. It’s not known if a language barrier caused yesterday’s confusion.

All schools must hold two lockdown practices each year.