(HANCOCK AND HENRY COUNTIES) - Three east central Indiana schools were evacuated Thursday, all because of one threat. Students were taken to safety while officers and bomb squads searched hallways and classrooms.
Steve Jefferson of WTHR reports that the bomb threat at Knightstown Intermediate School also included Eastern Hancock High School and Tri Junior-Senior High School.
Teachers and students at all three schools were ushered out of the building as part of their evacuation safety plan. At Eastern Hancock High School, they gathered at the football field stadium seats several hundred yards away from the school.
Bomb squad officers went room to room, checked hallways and the rest of the building for any suspicious items and found nothing. The same procedure took place at the other two schools mentioned in the threat.
The school superintendent says we're living in a time where they just cannot take chances when it comes to the safety of the students, especially since parents are relying on them to keep them as safe as possible.
Among the parents is a father with children at two of the schools who feared the worst.
"Probably 99 percent of the time it's nothing, but you've always got to wonder. I am a single parent, I have remarried now but I have full custody of my children and I worry every time," said Rick Skinner.
"The worst nightmare, I think of any superintendent or school administrator, is ultimately the safety of our kids. That safety is just not a bomb threat. It's when they get transported to and from school every day, while they are in school and It's even when they are at home," said Randy Harris, Eastern Hancock school superintendent.
Police officers blocked streets to the building awaiting bomb experts to arrive to search it for suspicious items. The officers went from school to school and eventually gave each building the all clear. The school is cooperating with investigators to try to track who made the threat.
"It's ridiculous to make all these other kids go through everything," said Skinner, whose son is a junior at Knightstown Community Senior High School. He also has a daughter in the eighth grade at Knightstown Intermediate School. "They lost three to four hours of school today they could have been learning because someone wants to be an idiot and make some threats and stuff and here we are."
The bomb threats put the school district's emergency plans in both counties to the test. Harris is relieved nothing was found, but he still has every intention of making this a teachable moment, and not just for the schools.
"We will look at the procedures that we did today and say is there something that we could have done better. We will ask the kids if it is something they could have done differently," he said. "And I would encourage the kids to talk to the parents and parents talk to the their kids. If they hear anything that we can benefit from here at school I encourage them to call us, call the office, send us an email."
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