Middle school evacuated

Published 10:07 am Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BAINBRIDGE MIDDLE SCHOOL students were moved to Memorial Coliseum Tuesday morning following a bomb threat was emailed to the school system’s chief of police.

Students and faculty were evacuated from Bainbridge Middle School Tuesday morning after the district’s chief school resource officer received a one-line email of a bomb threat.

Decatur County School Superintendent Fred Rayfield said School System Police Chief Paul Gordon was going through tipline emails as part of his daily routine and came across the bomb threat.

“It was a one-liner that there was going to be a bomb at Bainbridge Middle School today,” Rayfield said. The email mentioned that the bomb would be in the hallway where the “Diamond team” is located.

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Immediately, more than 800 students, faculty and staff were evacuated from the building at approximately 8:36 a.m.

Also, the streets surrounding the school, which is located on College Street, were blocked off.

Rayfield said the threat was taken seriously.

“You can’t afford not to take those things very seriously,” Rayfield said.

Rayfield credits the Bainbridge Public Safety, Decatur County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia State Patrol in securing the building and ensuring the students were evacuated away from the school.

Approximately an hour later, after Memorial Coliseum was cleared by law enforcement officers, the students were moved into it.

At approximately 10:12 a.m., law enforcement had cleared the entire school and students were then eventually returned to the classrooms, Rayfield said.

While the evacuation was taking place, several parents had arrived at the school asking for their children to be released to them.

However, Rayfield said the school system could not allow that because there was no way to proceed with the school’s “safe check-out” procedure, which checks to see who the child may be released to.

As of Tuesday afternoon, law enforcement personnel were working with the school system’s personnel in tracking down who sent the email or to determine the IP address of the person who may have sent the email, Rayfield said.