By Carol McIntire
Law enforcement officials are working to determine the origin of a bomb threat early this morning that led to the evacuation of Carrollton elementary, high school and middle school.
Carroll County Sheriff Dale Williams said a teacher received an email bomb threat just after 8 a.m.
“The email, from an alleged parent, wrote they were tired of their child being bullied and planted pressure cooker bombs at the school,” Williams said. “They said they would return at 11 a.m. and shoot people.”
Williams said deputies were notified of the email and Carrollton Police, Sheriff’s deputies and Carrollton village firefighters were dispatched.
The school was placed in lockdown and the decision was made to evacuate students from the three buildings to two different churches.
Bomb sniffing dogs from the Canton Police Department and Stark County Sheriff’s Department searched the buildings, including each classroom, and found nothing.
Parents were kept abreast of the situation through all-calls issued by school Superintendent Dr. David Quattrochi. Parents were permitted to pick their children up at area churches where they were taken by teachers, school staff and law enforcement.
“At the point when we felt we had a count of the students, parents were permitted to pick the children up one-by-one,” Quattrochi said.
“The kids were always safe: they were never in any danger,” he continued. “We are thankful it was only a threat.”
Sheriff Williams said an investigation is underway to find out who sent the email.
“At this point, all I can say is it is under investigation,” Williams said.
Quattrochi doesn’t believe the email was sent by any student or parent in the district.
“I believe it was a hoax. The FBI and police are investigating and, at this time, there is no evidence to indicate it was anyone local who sent the email,” he stated.
When the building was deemed safe, Quattrochi said students who were not picked up by their parents walked back to the school and those who were picked up were allowed back into the building to pick up personal belongings.
“Barb Burns, nutrition director, fed snacks to those who returned to school and students then went back to their classroom. Buses ran their normal routes in the afternoon to take those students home.”
The superintendent said he was debriefing with staff and teachers in the afternoon and is scheduled to meet with emergency management and law enforcement personnel Sept. 5.
“For the most part, the evacuation went smoothly,” he said. “We are going to talk about what worked and what we need to work on so we can plan for the future.”
Dellroy and Augusta schools were not affected by the lockdown and students were not dismissed early.