Bogus bomb disrupts Woodward High
Thu, 07 Jan 2010 14:05:23 GMT —
A phony bomb found at Woodward High School Thursday morning sent a scare through the community and disrupted the day for students.
A student found a suspicious device in a second floor men's restroom right at the start of the school day around 9 o'clock. Reports at the scene indicate the device was located in a trash can.
NBC24 was there as the events unfolded and the mood transitioned from panic to relief.
"At first I didn't know and then when they said it was a bomb or whatever then I got scared because they told everybody that we had to turn off our phones or something because it was going to blow up or something," said Ciara Sheares, Woodward student.
As soon as the device was found, an administrator was told and the police were called. Several emergency crews responded to the school, along with a bomb squad unit. Officials indicate the device was determined to be fake about two hours later at 11 a.m.
"It had the appearance of a pipe bomb with a mother board--it looked like from a computer but I don't think it was--attached to it and another device as well," said Deputy Chief Michael Murphy, Toledo Police Department.
Students were moved to a nearby community building.
A construction site next to the high school was also evacuated and Toledo Police say all streets surrounding the North Toledo high school were blocked off as the situation was investigated.
Evacuating the school only took about five minutes but some parents were concerned when they saw police cars and they were not getting immediate answers.
"I understand it's a bomb threat or whatever but they should at least call. I had to call the board of education. I need to know something," said one concerned parent.
TPS then bussed students across the river to Waite High School but still did not allow parents to pick up kids.
"It's our responsibility to keep the kids safe and we have 800 students here, we will get them in a safe location, a little larger location. We will then have an orderly procession in which we will allow parents to sign their children out," said TPS Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools Jim Gault.
But that rationale was not enough for some parents.
"i'm very frustrated," said another parent. "Officers are just talking crazy to me. I've got two kids in there and my wife's son in there. It's just ridiculous."
"If I see my son, he's coming with me. I know that," said the parent.
After noon, parents were allowed to collect their kids.
Officials look back on the events of the morning and are thankful it did not become anything worse.
"The important thing is now there was no actual device, it was a phony and things are safe and under control at this point," said Murphy.
Woodward High School does have surveillance cameras but there is no word on whether any suspicious activity was recorded.
Whoever is found responsible will face both police charges and school discipline.