Threat turns out to be false

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Children and their teachers gather outside the Mill Creek Children’s Center preschool on Essex Street on Youngstown’s South Side after evacuating the building Monday afternoon due to a bomb threat written on a girls’ restroom wall in the adjoining Youngstown Community School. Police searched the buildings and found no bomb, and the children and staff re-entered the buildings after 30 minutes outside.

Bomb threat clears out YCS

Staff report


Students and teachers were evacuated as a precaution for 30 minutes Monday afternoon from Youngstown Community School and the adjoining Mill Creek Children’s Center preschool on Essex Street after someone wrote a threat on a YCS girls’ restroom toilet stall wall that a bomb would explode in the school at 2:45 p.m.

The school principal, Sister Mary Dunn, called police. The fire alarm sounded, and all students in both buildings evacuated with their teachers at 2:20 p.m. After police searched the buildings and found no bomb, they gave the all-clear signal and allowed students and staff to re-enter the South Side buildings at 2:50 p.m.

The incident was treated as a fire drill, and the children were not told about the bomb threat to avoid panic, said Lydia Hammar, assistant principal at YCS, which enrolls 324 students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

News of the incident already had been posted on Facebook, however, while the students were standing outside the buildings.

The evacuation was near the YCS 3:15 p.m. dismissal time, and parents already were lined up in their vehicles to pick up their children and take them home.

Even though she did not believe the threat was credible, Hammar said: “You’ve got to take them seriously.”

Fire Battalion Chief Terrance Jordon said of bomb threats: “99.9 percent of them are false, but it’s that tenth of 1 percent you’ve got to worry about.”

Three police cars and a fire engine were at the scene.

YCS has 17 regular classrooms, a gymnasium and a music room and offices.

“Whoever did it didn’t want us to find it right away, until some little girl went in there, saw it and came running out scared,” and told school officials about the threat, Hammar said.

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