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Brockport High School evacuated for bomb threat

by Margaret Stewart - Managing Editor | Kari Ashworth - News Editor
Fri, Nov 22nd 2019 03:00 pm
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A bomb threat at Brockport High School caused students to be evacuated in the morning of Friday, Nov. 22. As the elementary and middle school students had a half day due to pre-scheduled parent teacher conferences, the high schoolers were moved from the high school to A.D. Oliver Middle School, according to Audrey Archer a student at the high school.

 

“We’re alright, we have been evacuated to the A.D. Middle School lower gym and are all sitting in 2nd period class groups," Archer said. "We are stuck here until further notice unless an emergency contact can come and pick us up."

 

Students were evacuated systematically, in an orderly fashion so as to not cause any more panic.

 

“We did it [evacuated] by floor,” Archer said. “The ground floor walked over first, then they dismissed the 2nd floor maybe 5 minutes after. The walk takes maybe 10 minutes.”

 

According to Archer, students were not aware of the threat at the time of the evacuation.

 

"No teacher has announced it, so the majority of us who know of the fact [that] it was a bomb threat obtained that information from our parents or peers," Archer said. "Aside from those who know, we have no proof of an actual bomb or whom was the one who issued the threat."

 

For Archer and her peers, the threat came as no shock.

 

“We’ve been through this before,” Archer said. “This year has already been filled with trouble.”

 

Katarina Allen, a friend of Archer, agreed, commenting on the reality of the risks associated with attending school.

 

“This threat is no shock to me because we live in a country in which threats like school shootings and bomb threats are more common than they should be,” Allen said.

 

With bomb threats seen in the Albion Central School District in early November, Eastridge High School last week and Gates Chili High School’s announcement of a threat of its own only hours after the containment of the incident in Brockport, the 14-year-olds are not afraid to speak up.

 

"According to staff, the last true bomb threat at the high school was 2-3 years ago, and they usually occur on a two year basis," Archer said. "As for the middle school, that [last threat] was also two years ago."

 

Parents began showing up at the school to pick up their children at 11 a.m. Michael Thomas, a teacher in the Brockport Central School District, explained the lengthy process. 

 

“It's a parent or guardian check for every single student who's being signed up,” Thomas said. “You have to be on the list of eligible people to sign someone out because that is just to check to make sure you're going home with the person that you're supposed to.”

 

Jennifer Wilson, whose son attends Brockport High School as a freshman, went through this process. She learned of the situation from an email sent out to parents. 

 

“As a precautionary measure due to a potential bomb threat, Brockport High School has implemented its emergency protocol and is currently being evacuated,” the email read. “We are working with law enforcement to ensure the safety and security of all students and staff. We are asking for high school parents to refrain from picking up their students at this time. Half-day dismissal for K-8 will continue as scheduled.”

 

Wilson said her son has not experienced a threat at the high school before today. 

 

“I mean, it’s his first year of high school; I don’t think it’s happened since,” Wilson said.

 

Overall, Wilson said she believes the situation has been handled appropriately. 

 

“I trust them; I think they’re handling things the way that they think is best for the school, the parents and the kids, so I have no problem with it,” Wilson said.

 

The Brockport Central School District tried to keep families updated as soon as they had any news to share through its Twitter page.

 

“We received notification from law enforcement that there is no threat to the high school and students and staff are returning to the building,” Brockport CSD tweeted. “Dismissal time has not been impacted. Afternoon and evening activities will occur as usual.”

 

The Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies debriefed the public in a press release. For more information and for the full press release, go to the WHEC TV Facebook page.

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