Update 8-p.m. Oct. 5th: Search of Atlantic High School: no explosive devices found


October 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Firefighters Steve Curtis and Bob Reynolds stand-by outside the high school Wednesday night.

With firefighters standing by outside the Atlantic High School, Atlantic Police conducted a thorough  search Wednesday night of the premises and found no evidence of any explosive devices or materials associated with a bomb threat which was discovered earlier in the day.

Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green said prior to the search, his office contacted experts who doubted the validity of the threat. He says they contacted the State Fire Marshall’s Office and discussed the possible scenarios. The Fire Marshall’s Office said the threat was deemed “not credible.” Even so, Green said they’re taking precautions to ensure the safety of students and the staff at the high school. He says they will be “proactive over the next couple of days so parents can rest assured that their kids can come to school safely,” and not have to worry. Green says students will not be allowed to bring backpacks, large purses or duffle bags to school Thursday or Friday.

Students who do bring those items to school Thursday will be asked to put those items in their vehicles or leave them with a parent. In extenuating circumstances, the packs and purses will be searched. He says absolutely no backpacks or large purses will be allowed at school Friday. Chief Green says security at the school will be maintained during the next couple of days. Atlantic School District Superintendent Mike Amstein told KJAN News earlier in the day, Wednesday, that a student had discovered a written bomb threat on a restroom stall, and reported it to school officials. Administrators then notified law enforcement and sent out a press release designed to inform parents about the situation. The note scribbled on the stall indicated an explosive device would go off on Friday, October 7th.

Green said threats such as the one found at the high school Wednesday, are usually an attempt by a student to disrupt classes for one reason or another, and nothing more. School will be held as usual both Thursday and Friday. Green says if the intent of the person responsible was to disrupt classes, they won’t be happy with the results of their effort. He says they’re not going to be rewarded with a day off, or a 3-day weekend for pulling this stunt.

He says parents and students should not be taken in by fear and panic, because the situation is being handled at a much higher level than is recommended by the experts.