At approximately 9:40 Friday morning, the fire alarm sounded to evacuate students and staff from the building after a bomb threat written in the senior hall girls’ bathroom was reported to security by a student.
The threat, written on the wall in Sharpie, read, “Bomb in the basement of the school.”
Five police officers, the director of security services, school and the school police sergeant arrived at the scene to make sure emergency protocol was followed correctly. It is confirmed that the officers and Cleveland custodial staff searched the school to “look for anything suspicious.”
This emergency bomb “scare” protocol proceeded while the student body surrounded the school on Franklin and 26th. There was a buzz of confusion among the students as administrators and police officers stood outside of the building. Many students and teachers first thought the evacuation was due to a fire drill but then realized the situation was serious when the all-clear didn’t come at its routine length of time.
“I knew something was wrong but nobody was communicating what the issue was,” said Oscar Duyck, sophomore. “I heard about the bomb threat but it was hard to say if that was just a rumor. Not many people knew what was true and what was going on.”
Students and staff waited for 45 minutes until the all-clear, which was issued by the school police sergeant. At this time, students returned to their second period class and the normal school day schedule continued.
The school will continue to investigate this incident, specifically finding the perpetrator of the threat. A reward will be given to students who come forward with information.
“Students can come forward anonymously by putting information in my box,” said Principal Paul Cook.
For now though, it seems the credibility of the threat was invalid. However, if anyone finds suspicious packages or unordinary items they are instructed to come forward.
“We would much rather err on the side of caution and take those measures very seriously instead of overlooking it and then having some serious repercussions,” Vice Principal Katy Wagner-West said.
At this time, everyone is safe and there are no further concerns.
Below is an official statement by Principal Cook released to faculty this afternoon:
“As a precautionary measure, we evacuated the building this morning. We were notified by a student that a threat was written on a wall in the girls bathroom, and it read, ‘bomb in the basement of the school’. We contacted the police and district officials and performed a search of the building – no explosive device was found. An all clear announcement was given by District officials, police, and school staff.
This is a very serious matter and anyone with information regarding the perpetrator, please contact a CHS administrator or campus monitor. A reward is being offered for information identifying the person or persons involved.”