Update: Students Were Evacuated After Note Indicated a Bomb Threat

Park Middle School was evacuated this afternoon after the school found a note indicating a bomb was somewhere in the building, police found no bomb.

Update: 2:30 p.m.

Park Middle School was evacuated earlier today due to a note that was found indicating a bomb might be located in an area of the school, officials said.

According to Police Chief Brian Mahoney, the Scotch Plains police department received a phone call that the school had found a note stating that there was a bomb in a specific section of the building. After consulting with Superintendent Dr. Margaret Hayes and Park Middle personnel, the police department decided to evacuate the students to nearby School One due to the cold weather.

Mahoney added that the students did an excellent job walking over to School One and were very organized and calm throughout the evacuation.

Once the department knew the students were safe and warm they began investigating the area that the note indicated might have a bomb.

“We checked the immediate area where the threat was located and it appeared to most likely be a hoax,” Mahoney said.

He stated that since they made the decision to evacuate students both the Scotch Plains Police Department K-9 Unit and Union County K-9 Unit took the necessary precautions to check the rest of the building.

After the units were sure the building was safe they admitted the children to return and carry on with the rest of the school day.

"The note most likely came from in the building, possibly a student,” Mahoney said.

The investigation as to where the note came from is ongoing.

Update: 1:55 p.m.

Students have returned to Park Middle School following an evacuation earlier this afternoon.

The building is safe and secure and the students will have a regular dismissal followed by afternoon activites, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, Sally Rowland said.

Rowland added that the principal will send home a letter in regards to the evacuation and the police chief will be issuing a press release.

Original Story

At approximately 12:30 p.m. parents were notified that Park Middle School was evacuated to School One.

According to Sally Rowland, Assistant to the Superintendent, all children are safe and there is no need for concern.

Parents were notified of the evacuation via the Honeywell Alert System.

Rowland informed Patch that more information will be available shortly.

The following alert was sent out to parents:

Alert Name:

Park Evacuation

Alert Type:

High Importance

Complete Message:

Park Middle School Students have been moved to School One. Sudents are safe and there is no cause for alarm. Further information will be sent later.

School Name:

Park Middle School

Sent By:

Sally Rowland

KP January 24, 2013 at 10:42 PM
The schools DO have a color alert code - someone in this conversation said that her child was told it was a code RED and they hid in the classroom...odd. My daughter said it was a code YELLOW - and then changed to an EVACUATION...which perhaps, is RED? No way kids would be taught to hide in a classroom for a bomb threat.
KP January 24, 2013 at 10:44 PM
And yes - this color code system of alert and response should be part of the Honeywell notification procedure. Apples to apples for all concerned....staff, students, parents and responders.
Aimee January 24, 2013 at 11:19 PM
I am an actual student at Park. I knew this wasn't a drill after the teachers told us to evacuate the building to school one. Plus, I was pretty scared.
qj January 25, 2013 at 12:29 AM
I am one of the staff and a parent at Park middle school. There was no mention of any coded color. The messages to the students over the pa system are very simple and direct. Unfortunately in the crazy world we live in, all SPF students know what to do and the importance of a lock down. That is what was first called on the pa system.as staff,we follow procedure to calm the students, keep them quiet and lock all doors until we hear further instructions. Be proud of your children and the park middle staff and the SPF boe. Moving almost 900 students and approx 150 adults out of a building in less than three minutes is admirable. To release more info than what was first relayed to the parents would have sent more shock waves than there was. Please remember not only did our children run run run to school one (all 900) but. Another 400 were about to have lunch and recess as well. Many parents called and found their children well on cell phones and many arrived at school one.
Ocean January 25, 2013 at 01:59 AM
Albiet the messaging and Honeywell system issues, I must commend our local police departments, our schools, teachers, staff, principals, superintendent, Union County K-9/police and district employees. I happened to arrive after the evacuation and EVERYONE I saw/spoke to was calm, direct and it all seemed so under control. I was very impressed with how it all was handled, even over at School One. You all should realize that as a parent (I did not get the text), I had no idea there even was an incident until arriving at school. Overall, we parents should feel really good our kids were all in good hands and emergency procedures were immediately implemented. I was really impressed.


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