On what is the first day back to school for most children in the United States, William E. Young elementary school in Homer Glen, Illinois, had been evacuated due to a bomb threat, according to reports from the Chicago Sun-Times.
Reports indicate that school staff arrived to find a waiting voicemail, advising that a bomb had been left on school property, according to Kathy Hoffmeyer with the Will County sheriff’s office.
Police searched the building with bomb-sniffing dogs and were unable to locate a bomb. Fox News is reporting that the “all clear” was given at 11:55 a.m., and that William E. Young students and staff have now been allowed back in the building.
Students were moved to Luther J. Schilling School with the evacuation. Plans were to return students to William E. Young and release them at 2 p.m., reports NBC.
A release was made by the superintendent of the Homer Community Unit District 33C, Dr. Kara Coglianese.
I am writing to inform you of an incident that occurred this morning. We received a bomb threat phone call at Young Elementary prior to school and, following our safety plan, we evacuated early childhood and staff already present, and did not allow incoming morning arrivals to enter the building. These students were then redirected to Schilling School. We immediately contacted the Will County Police Department and they began to inspect the building and also planned to bring in bomb-sniffing dogs.
No students or staff will be allowed back into Young Elementary until the inspection is complete and the building is declared safe by law enforcement officials. We will be providing activities for the displaced students at Schilling School and buses will run their normal routes after school. Because the timeline for returning to Young Elementary is uncertain, parents, if they wish, may pick up and sign out their students at Schilling School until 2 pm through the main door. We plan to hold classes as usual on Wednesday.
We appreciate the quick action by our staff to enact our safety and reunification plans and we appreciate the quick response by the Will County Police Department. We apologize for the inconvenience to our students and their parents because of this unfortunate incident. Please know that the safety and welfare of our students is our top priority. This incident is under investigation and, if the perpetrator is caught, we plan to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. Thank you for your understanding during this trying situation.
Dr. Kara Coglianese
Homer Community Unit District 33C”
In unrelated incidents, classes at Centennial High School in Corona, California were cancelled today after a bomb threat was found to be a hoax, as reported by ABC. The Ashville, North Carolina Citizen-Times reported on a bomb threat at Ashville High School resulting in classes being temporarily suspended before resuming at 10:40 a.m. The Tennessean reports that “at least 6” bomb threats were made at Tennessee schools on September 1.
[William E. Young School Screenshot Courtesy Healy | Bender]