A School Bomb Threat Today

by Robyn Wright on September 22, 2011

in Living,St. Louis

Yes, you read that right. Today at Taylor’s campus there was a bomb threat. ACK! What is wrong with our world where kids and parents have to worry about bombs in their schools?High School

Taylor was the first to alert me. He sent me a text this morning about it. I went online to the district’s Facebook page and they had already posted about the bomb threat and that they did not think it was credible but that they still were taking all the steps necessary to make sure. This meant locking down campuses and going through all the classrooms, all the lockers, and other areas plus having all the kids go through a metal detector also. This was all taking place in the regular high school building, luckily Taylor is not in that building. His newest placement has him at what is called the Success Campus which is a different building, but still on the same campus as the high school. Taylor was texting me to keep me up to date – he seemed calm and was trying to blow it off I think. I was able to talk to him a few times later in the day though and at that point he was starting to get stressed out. The district did a great job keeping us updated via Facebook and Twitter. You all know me and you know that I was very happy to see them utilizing those tools so well.

Taylor was finally released from the Success Campus and took his normal bus back to his regular high school (this is his normal daily schedule). At that point he was really ready to just get in his truck and drive home. He had missed lunch – they had things available I think when they got there but he just wasn’t up to those items I think. I was super proud of him for staying the rest of the day though. He said he didn’t accomplish anything, but I told him that wasn’t true. Even though he may not have accomplished regular school work in the afternoon, it was a huge accomplishment that he was stressed out and still was able to stay at school. (If you have been following my son’s story you know that he has walked out of school many times before.)

When he finally got home from school today he was not a happy camper. Well, that is not exactly correct. The stress of the day had really built up and so when he got home, to his safe zone, he was able to let that anxiety out. I tried to keep a very calm voice, listen intently and agreed when he expressed his feelings about the day to reaffirm them for him. I made him a snack and sat and talked with him for a while. He told me some details of the day and sometimes talked about other things – the point was that I was there to just listen to him I think and for him to feel safe again. Tonight he is just chilling out hanging out with Hubby. They are off school the next two days for parent/teacher conferences. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

Have you had a big scare like this at your child’s school? How did you handle it? How did your kids handle it?

© 2011 – 2012, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.

Comments on this entry are closed.


1 tmy56 September 21, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Wow! You all handled the day very well IMO. (The school too)
I would have been crazy with worry & I’m sure my son would have picked up on that.
Fortunately the worst we ever had to deal with was someone pulling a fire alarm. 

2 Robyn's Online World September 21, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Thanks. You know, I don’t think T has ever mentioned a false fire alarm before. Go figure!

3 Ravzie September 22, 2011 at 6:26 am

Makes you want to homeschool….

4 Robyn's Online World September 22, 2011 at 8:49 am

We actually used to homeschool

5 Ravzie September 23, 2011 at 5:59 am

Have you been rethinking it with all the “Stuff” going on these days???

6 Robyn's Online World September 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm

While I loved being a homeschooling mom, it just wasn’t something that my son was well suited for. While he needed less chaos of a traditional school setting, he also needed the structure of a more traditional school setting. Right now I think we have found a good placement for him between the mix of things he is doing and it works for him.

7 niteflytes September 22, 2011 at 11:18 am

Sounds like he handled it really well, like an adult. In fact, I’ve had staff freak out over things that come nowhere close to a bomb threat. I remember when I was in middle school and high school (I graduated in 1982) there were a few bomb threats. We had to go outside, away from the building and wait for the authorities to give us the all clear to go back inside. I don’t think the school ever called any parents and we joked that we wished it would blow up so we could go home. I guess the threat didn’t seem as realistic then as it does now.

8 Robyn's Online World September 23, 2011 at 10:45 am

Amazing how much times have changed with threats like these indeed

9 shawn September 22, 2011 at 2:35 pm

omg!!!   As a parents, we never stop worrying about our children.  Luckily, nothing like this has happened to us and I hope it never does. 

10 Mary Elderton September 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm

I think I might have shown more anxiety than he did!  Aren’t you supposed to get OUT of a building in the event of a bomb threat???  They may not have thought it a credible threat, but on the off chance…
It sounds like ya’ll handled it well, and I’m glad everyone is safe.  I’m also glad to hear that your school district is using FB and Twitter!  As a teacher some years ago, I managed emails and made myself available for chat in the evenings–FB and Twitter would have been so helpful!

11 Robyn's Online World September 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm

They had all the students in the main building go into a corner of each room, under desks, lights off, and doors locked. Taylor’s building wasn’t quite as harsh with the lockdown. Then they went into each room and checked everyone and the room, checked the lockers, etc. and eventually moved them to the stadium and had swat teams up on roofs everywhere and stuff. The police had a system in place.

Yes, they did a great job utilizing social media – fabulous tool!

12 Anna Galanos September 22, 2011 at 2:56 pm

We just had guns at school and went on lockdowns. Once we had to evacuate the school and walk a few blocks to the Hellas Temple. I really wanted texting on my phone for that reason so I could tell my mom what is going on and tell her I loved her in case something really bad happened.  I am so proud of Taylor and all that he accomplished! I hope he knows he should feel proud of himself, too!

13 Robyn's Online World September 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm

I remember a girl brought a gun to school when I was in high school threatening to commit suicide. It was awful.

14 Angie Marion September 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm

wow! Glad it didn’t pan out to nothing serious! It’s a shame that kids do this – we had one at my son’s middle school a few years back – turned out to be some girls playing a trick. Not cool!

15 Robyn's Online World September 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm

They have arrested a 15 year old in conjunction with this. I don’t think it was meant as a prank, rather a cry for some help. I hope that they get that child the help he or she needs.

16 Doodle741 September 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm

HOLY FREAKIN’ MOLY!!!  I am SO glad it was just a “prank” … but OH MY!  I would have driven up and taken my kid OUT of school!  

I am glad T stayed at school – he may not have accomplished school work, but he did something HUGE for himself. 

17 Robyn's Online World September 23, 2011 at 2:06 pm

I knew they weren’t letting parents on campus to pick kids up. Several parents showed up, but they just had to stand where the cops told them and couldn’t do anything else. It would have stressed me out more going up there I think.

18 Doodle741 September 23, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Very, very true.  {{HUG}} to you both.

19 Ljatwood September 22, 2011 at 3:37 pm

That is frightening! We haven’t had anything like that around here since we moved here 6 years ago. The only thing we ever had was at my daughter’s elementary school…A non-custodial parent who wasn’t allowed to be near their child came on campus and they locked down the school until they were able to have police escort them away.
Even if they are pranks, I imagine it would cause stress just knowing that it could happen.

20 Robyn's Online World September 23, 2011 at 2:07 pm

I remember when T was in elementary they had forms to fill out who could pick up, but really if they kids just go out to parking lot anyone could have been there and taken them.

21 Ksceviour September 22, 2011 at 4:02 pm

holy moley! That is scary! :( Fortunately,nothing like that around here..yet!

22 Brendashandmade September 22, 2011 at 4:53 pm

That is scary!  I’m glad everything was o.k.  A couple of years ago when my son was in middle school, they had to lockdown the campus because a man running from the police, ran on to their campus.  Luckily he was found quickly in an open empty classroom.  

23 Robyn's Online World September 23, 2011 at 2:07 pm

That is scary that the guy went into the school though!

24 Lfhpueblo September 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm

I can understand his stress.  No bomb threats here in school, but when I worked as a nurse we had them many times in the hospital I worked at.  That really stressed me out.  We had a protocal we were supposed to remember if we were the one getting the bomb call, or if we had to move patients.  Yet, what really, really, really stressed me out, was the nurses were suppose to help look for the bomb, e.g. in patient’s closets, drawers, behind curtains, in bathrooms, trashcans, etc…
That’s what stressed me out the most, looking for the item, and not sure what it was suppose to look like, or what it would do if you found it.  Luckily, never any bombs found, but trash can fires were, more than once. 
So, I understand your son’s stress, because unless you’re there in it at the time, you just don’t know how it feels to feel so vulnerable.  Vulnerability is very stressing. 
I think that is why kids are so stressed today, because they feel vulnerable to the job market (will there be any jobs available when I graduate, will I have the grades and scores I need to get into college, is there money for college loans available) what’s going on with the weather and earthquakes, what’s going on with all the terrorism and will I become a victim to such.
Lots of stuff for them to deal with and I think it broadcast on TV so much and often doesn’t help them a bit.
Glad your son is safe, and he was brave to stay at school.  He handled his stress pretty well.  Glad you were there to listen to him when he got home.  I’m sure someday he’ll let you know how much he appreciated that.

25 Robyn's Online World September 23, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Yet another reason that I could never be a nurse! YIKES!

26 tawndam September 22, 2011 at 7:36 pm

It’s been a couple of years since our High School (no, we are NOT a city school…) went through near-weekly bomb threats…  The first, everyone kinda panicked, but said in the next breath, no way…  They evac’ed everyone to other buildings w/o even contacting parents.  I was somewhat upset because I had a hard time finding my children, but, at the same time… they were completely unprepared and still managed to make sure ALL the children we moved to a safe place… then it was time to work on getting them home.  The next was a few days later…  someone thought it was an easy way outta class… then the next… you get the point, I think…  THE KIDS were fed up by the time they finally stopped… the school was fed up and just would ship them to the football field…  I think you better talk with your son about ‘if it happens again…’  Hopefully, this was a one-time thing… but now they all know how easy it is to stop classes…
…oh… and IF you’re a student looking to get outta that test you didn’t study for…  think of this… BOMB THREATS ARE SERIOUS!  YOU WILL BE TREATED AS A TERRORIST WHEN THEY CATCH UP WITH YOU!  It’s just not worth it….

27 Robyn's Online World September 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Thanks – I hadn’t mentioned to Taylor about the fact that sometimes other kids do like things just to get out of class. Although, I do think that as seriously as everyone took this and the toll it took on the kids that hopefully that isn’t likely. They had the swat team guys everywhere with guns and were very serious about it all.

28 heather purvis September 22, 2011 at 7:53 pm

I remember when we had one here in our small town scared the beejesus outta me Robyn!

29 Robyn's Online World September 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I can understand that totally!

30 Ingrid September 22, 2011 at 8:04 pm

This is sad, so sorry for all the children having to experience this. There are just some plain sick people in this world.

31 tannawings September 22, 2011 at 8:35 pm

I used to work at a school where the kids got sent to that made the bomb threats.. luckily they were pretty idle threats back then (the internet nor many resources werent available ) but the schools took them very seriously even 20 years ago and did lockdowns/searches.

T handled it well- and did just what he should have done. He cooperated and stayed in school. 

32 Robyn's Online World September 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm

We have a few alternatives around here, but most of the time the districts just kick them out under the safe schools act. I disagree with that policy though because I think as kids/teens sometimes they get major issues that they need help with. It doesn’t mean to just give up and throw them out.

33 Auriette September 22, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Circa 1982 (I think it was my senior year), the fire alarm went off during lunch. Of course, we all ignored it and said they were crazy. Then the principal came on and asked us all to go outside. In the rain. Uh-huh, right. Then he came on again and said we’d received a bomb threat. LOL, we left pretty quick then. They weren’t that common back then.

I recently came back to the news business after about 4 years away. I remember once, probably 5 or 6 years ago, schools here were getting bomb threats every day for a few weeks. It was nuts. Of course, nothing was ever found during the searches. Of course, the  school has to take it seriously.  One time the “threat” was a drawing of a bomb left on a desk.

I would have been in trouble when I was a kid because when I was really little, I had a ticking time bomb toy/game. You wound up the cap and fuse and I guess you were supposed to pass it around like a “hot potato” and if you were holding it when you heard the “explosion” you were out. I didn’t have other kids to play with often, though. Anyway, when I got older, one of the few things I could draw was that ticking time bomb. I’d’ve been arrested for sure!

Back on topic, every so often one of the Wal-mart stores will get a bomb threat called in and they’ll have to evacuate the store for a while. I remember once that a guy was arrested for it and he’d called it in so his girlfriend that worked there would be able to come outside and he could see her.

That’s the thing, I don’t know if any bomb threat made by phone (or drawing left on desk) has ever been genuine. My personal belief is that if someone planted a bomb at a school, they wouldn’t call in a warning. By evacuating the school or business, they caller is getting what they want – a disruption of the day.

We stopped reporting on the school bomb threats after awhile, except to report any arrests. When you show a child being led out in handcuffs, it sends a message to other children that calling in a bomb threat is not a game, and that’s an important lesson to send.

34 Robyn's Online World September 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm

They did arrest someone in this case, but I don’t know if they showed it on the news. I didn’t watch the news coverage of it at all.

35 Ane September 22, 2011 at 11:48 pm

I really wish I could home school.  That way I could avoid my kids having to deal with these types of things.  It’s just craziness! Sorry! :(

36 Robyn's Online World September 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm

While we all wish our kids could be kept safe forever, I hope that is never a reason that parents opt for homeschooling solely, just because of what MIGHT happen.

37 Mariana September 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm

That is really scary!

38 deadchristmastrees September 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I remember having bomb threats when i was in school.  What often happened was someone would call in a bomb threat and then there would be a string of copy-cat bomb threats called in.  It was scary and very stressful.  Your a good a mom for taking the time to listen.

39 Robyn's Online World September 24, 2011 at 8:01 pm

I just mentioned this to Taylor in case that happened. He said his principal, Mrs. J, had talked about it the other day when they were in lockdown already. She rocks!

40 Diana V September 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm

My mother worked for years in the Alisal School district in CA. They would have district wide lock downs on a regular basis when a gang member would run thru a playground and they would have lock downs in case they had a gun.  Lovely for the elementary kids, huh.

41 Robyn's Online World September 24, 2011 at 8:12 pm

How scary!

42 Diana V September 24, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Yeah. but the truly sad part was how the kids were/are used to it… Glad T kept in contact and didn’t let it get him to worried.

43 terrik September 24, 2011 at 9:56 pm

This just freaks me out.  I’m so glad Taylor is safe and didn’t freak out like I would have, I can’t imagine what it would have been like going to school with the very real danger there is for kids today.  

I don’t know if anyone noticed my tweets or not, but just a few days ago the police arrested two 30-something year old men for attempting to rob two 11 year old middle school kids as they waited for the school bus in the morning.  When the boys refused to give them money, they started shooting!  Then, on top of that, there were reports (no arrests yet) of someone firing a bb gun at an elementary school bus!

I’ve talked to my son about what to do if he sees anyone with a gun, but until this week, it never dawned on me to discuss with him what to do if he’s on the bus and hears gunshots.  I’m so glad I stay at the bus stop with him everyday, and I wait until I see him on the bus and he’s waving at me through the window before I turn to walk or drive home.

Our school is really good about drills, they do fire drills, tornado drills, etc., and there have been police at the school talking to the classes about gangs and how and why not go get in a gang, what to do if someone talks to you about a gang, etc.

I know this isn’t just because we live in such a big city, and that no school is safe, but it makes me want to move farther out into the suburbs.

44 Robyn's Online World September 24, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I’m out in the suburbs so don’t think that it helps.

That is so scary about the young kids being robbed! What is wrong with these people?

45 nik October 23, 2011 at 11:20 am

You and Taylor both handled it really well. Cool and practical in the moment, but then recognizing any turbulent feelings and talking them through. Hurray for him for sticking it out and for you for being so supportive.  :)
I used to work at the local high school, a top-rated school on all levels, and we still got these, as well as false fire alarms and on one occasion, a weapon found in a locker. All were taken seriously and investigated and arrests were made. Fortunately the school is well prepared…all staff have a handbook with emergency procedures covering these things, and the police department actually trains in the school every summer, running maneuvers and instructing the administrators. It’s nice to know that Taylor’s school communicated and reacted as well as they did.

46 AngelaLilly November 30, 2011 at 10:50 am

Ugh!  What is wrong with people???  I don’t have kids, but we used to get bomb scares all the time when I was in school.  None of the kids took it seriously back then.  It was just a fun way to get out of classes.  But since the 1990s and all the shootings, its very serious to me.  Sorry you  had to go thru this, but glad that the school was good at keeping things updated and nothing really happened though.

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