Two Randolph County schools were evacuated and classes were canceled following a bomb threat discovered Wednesday morning.
The bomb threat originated at Elkins High School at approximately 8 a.m. Wednesday when a student reported a suspicious note written on a bathroom wall, Terry George, interim superintendent of Randolph County Schools, said.
By 8:30 a.m., students were evacuated from the high school and Midland Elementary in school buses., he said
The Inter-Mountain photo by Casey Houser
School buses full of Elkins High School and Midland Elementary students leave the schools’ joint parking lot as students are transported to an evacuation area following a bomb threat at the high school Wednesday morning.
"We initiated our emergency plan and safely evacuated the students to the evacuation zone," George said.
At the time, it was determined that students would be kept at the evacuation site until they could return to school, Tonya Auvil, executive secretary of the superintendent, said. If school was canceled, she said, buses would transport students to their homes.
Soon after the evacuation the instructional day for students was canceled at both schools.
Officers from the Elkins Police Department were on scene and assisted George with his decision to cancel classes.
"After speaking with law enforcement officials, we have determined the safest thing to do is dismiss the students," George said immediately following the evacuation. "We are waiting for the K-9 units to sweep the schools. Because of the time it takes for the schools to be deemed all clear, we have decided to transport all students home by bus."
Later Wednesday afternoon, George said the majority of students were sent home on the buses which initially transported them away from the school. Some parents decided to pick up their children at the evacuation site, and the kids were released to their parents at that time.
George said officials at the Elkins Police Department performed an investigation. It was determined that the bomb threat was the work of a student, George said.
Classes are scheduled to resume Thursday.
"School will be back in session tomorrow on a normal basis," George said Wednesday afternoon.
This is the fifth bomb-related school incident in the area in two days.
Also on Wednesday, students were evacuated from Philippi Middle School in Barbour County as a result of a bomb threat.
On Tuesday, students from Philippi Elementary School were evacuated after a note was found inside the school; a bomb threat was directed toward the Division of Highways in Dodridge County; and a student at Salem International University was arrested on the campus after being found with a hoax bomb.