Anonymous 911 call disrupts school day
Last updated 1:30 p.m., Sept. 22, 2016
Students and staff at Montgomery Blair High School were evacuated from the school building at 12:28 p.m. during sixth period on Tuesday, Sept. 20. The evacuation was prompted after an anonymous call to Montgomery County 911 warned of a bomb in the school building. Montgomery County Police and Blair's security team searched the building but nothing suspicious was found. The caller was taken into police custody later that day.
Johnson followed Montgomery County Public Schools' (MCPS) standard procedure for bomb threats. "Protocol is the police will come. Fire and rescue will respond to determine if they should search the building," Johnson said. Police with dogs first searched Blazer Stadium, and once it was cleared, staff and students were directed to it.
Before being allowed in the stadium, students were momentarily frenzied by a tire popping in a crash on the Beltway caused a loud noise and momentary panic. Once the source of the noise was clarified, students calmed down.
According to Johnson, the 911 caller also warned of the presence of clowns. Over the past week, police received reports of clowns in Annapolis like those in South Carolina, but these were later invalidated. No known unsettling sightings of clowns have occurred in Maryland. Nonetheless, Johnson remained wary. "There was the clown scare in Annapolis. I had to get more information on clowns," Johnson said, "But my scare was really the bomb threat."
While students were waiting in the stadium, the police had already identified the caller's phone number. Once students returned to class, Johnson made an announcement asking for students with information about the caller to come forward. "We had students come down and they told us who they believed did it and when that young lady was called to the main office, she confessed," Johnson said. The student's phone number also matched that of the call to the 911 dispatcher.
The student is currently on ten-day suspension with a recommendation for expulsion from Johnson. The student will face a hearing with the MCPS officials removed from the situation. Although she believed that the student no longer belonged at Blair, Johnson stressed the importance of students remaining in school. "Now again, it's never my desire to have students kicked out of school forever, Blair is just not a good fit anymore. Maybe another school would be a better fit," Johnson said.
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