Bomb threat raises questions about protocol

Students file into the football stands as the police investigate inside on Sept. 20. Photo by Ethan O'Sullivan.
B lunch was winding down on Sept. 20 when bomb threats were called in to both FHS and HSE. Principal Jason Urban used the intercom and ordered an evacuation as law enforcement was called. Staff acted quickly and according to the handbook, and students soon funneled out to the stadium.

Split between the host stands and the away stands, students remained seated as the FPD scoured the whole school. They found nothing in either FHS or HSE. The investigation to track down the caller is ongoing.

For security purposes, neither the administration nor the police can disclose information on what the protocol for securing the school’s safety is. Although assistant principal Ryan Taylor recognized that the threat is likely a hoax, he knows that cannot be a reason to leave the school vulnerable by exposing their tactics. Whatever those tactics are, they are bound to adapt so that the attacker does not have a predictable target.

“[The threat] will help us to learn for the future,” Taylor said. “We may not ever do anything the same, because every piece of information that comes in is unique.”

A few narratives circulated throughout the day among students, particularly concerning HSE. Some students talked about the police finding a bomb in a car there, and others said that classes were dismissed for the rest of the day.

But the police department’s official statement contradicts these claims. It states that both schools were cleared and all classes subsequently resumed for the day.

Taylor nonetheless encourages students not to be afraid to talk about what happened.

“To me or any policeman, everything seems out of place in a classroom because we don’t see it everyday,” Taylor said. “So we need to rely on students to be aware.”

If anyone notices something suspicious, they can report it anonymously by texting the details the number ‘274637’.

Taylor and the other administrators had a meeting after school on the day following the incident in order to evaluate their decision-making and prepare for future threats.

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