High school disrupted by bomb threat

Police have not made an arrest in connection with a bomb threat which caused about 1,200 Thompson High School students to miss almost a full day of classes last Friday.

School Superintendent Evan Major said students from THS were evacuated

to Thompson Middle School following a bomb threat

Friday morning.

They were allowed to return to school shortly after lunch.

He said the evacuation to the middle school was conducted to get the students inside and to keep them safe.

Major said a telephone call was received at the school at 7:30 a.m.

&uot;We have the number it came from, and there is an investigation under way right now,&uot; he said.

&uot;When we do catch the person responsible, you can stand assured they will be prosecuted.&uot;

Major said the evacuation of the high school was not immediate because the caller did not indicate the threat was an immediate situation. He said the caller did give a time warning.

Major said police did a preliminary investigation before the evacuation was called. He also said the person who called in the threat &uot;will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.&uot;

At

the Thompson Middle School gymnasium, THS Assistant Principal Terry Roller said about lunchtime enrollment for the day had dropped from some 1,200 to about 500 students.

He said he was told to conduct an evacuation exercise due to the fact the country is on a high state of alert.

He said students were being checked out by their parents and the school was not stopping them.

Roller said the students and teachers walked along Warrior Drive from THS to TMS, escorted by safety team members.

He said the high school was on lockdown so no one could enter or leave.

However, Roller said school was technically in session and when the all-clear was given, a decision would be made whether to continue school or to let everyone go home.

The roads to Thompson High School were blocked by Alabaster police personnel and vehicles.

&uot;We had 1,200 students lose a day of school,&uot; Major said.

&uot;It cost a lot of dollars, too,&uot; he said, indicating the school system paid for the lunches for the students and teachers which had to be served at TMS.

When asked about future bomb threats, Major said, &uot;We have to do what is prudent.&uot;

He said the situation will have to be &uot;evaluated each time.&uot;

A notice sent to parents by Thompson High School Principal Ron Griggs on Friday placed the time of the bomb threat at 7:37 a.m. from &uot;an anonymous caller who said a bomb was set to go off in five hours.&uot;

Griggs wrote: &uot;We immediately implemented our emergency safety plan notifying the Alabaster Police Department and the Shelby County Board of Education Central Office. The school was evacuated and all students and faculty were relocated to Thompson Middle School Gym and were served lunch in the cafeteria.&uot;

The notice to parents continued: &uot;With the assistance of the Alabaster Police Department, the Pelham Police Department and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department’s Bomb Detection Dog, Thompson High School was thoroughly searched and no explosive device was found. After it was determined the school was safe, the students and faculty were returned to the school to continue the school day.&uot;

According to Griggs: &uot;We are assisting law enforcement in conducting a full investigation into this matter. Calling in a bomb threat is a crime. The Shelby County Board of Education and the administration of Thompson High School will prosecute any responsible individual or individuals to the full extent of the law. If you have any information that will assist us in the investigation, please contact a school official or the local police.&uot;