CANONSBURG, Pa. — Canon-McMillan High School students were dismissed early, as police investigated a bomb threat. The all-clear was given hours later after police cleared the school property.
According to district officials, someone phoned the high school on Thursday morning, indicating that a bomb was placed inside the building.
“They just told us to evacuate, they didn’t tell us if it was a drill or not, so none of us really knew what to do, we started going out of the building quickly. It was chaos on the inside,” senior Kevin Gmitter told us.
Students were relocated to the Big Mac Stadium as first responders were brought in to sweep the building.
“We’re just very fortunate that personnel, the emergency responders, moved in right away, they were able to get a K9,” said Superintendent Michael Daniels.
“They’re thoroughly sweeping it to make sure it’s safe for everyone to return, and they’ll be contacted at a later time to retrieve any personal items,” said Public Relations spokesperson Morgan Northy.
Around 11:30 am, school buses returned to the campus, picking students up at the stadium and transporting them home. Other students were picked up by their parents, who were notified by the district and lined up outside of the stadium. Multiple parents told Channel 11 that they felt the district handled the matter well, but they were nonetheless concerned.
“It’s a scary thing, these kids have been through a lot, it’s mentally exhausting for them and the parents,” said mom Katie Uram.
A student chimed in “we can never catch a break.”
Another parent speculated that the threat could be linked to the ongoing mask dispute within the district. Earlier in the week, a school board meeting abruptly ended as parents screamed at one another.
“I figured it’s somebody calling in, creating havoc, because they’re not getting their way at these meetings, these board meetings,” said mom Donna Gmitter.
Channel 11 asked school officials if they suspect the bomb threat is linked to the masking controversy, but they could not comment, and stated that police are leading the investigation.
As of Thursday afternoon, officers remained at the building.
©2021 Cox Media Group