The threat came in to Lowndes County E-911 at about 11:30 a.m., forcing the school district to evacuate the school’s 600 students by bus to Joe Cook Elementary, where parents were allowed to pick them up.
Administrators immediately activated the school’s emergency protocol.
State troopers, Lowndes County Sheriff’s deputies, Columbus firefighters and police and Columbus Air Force Base bomb squad technicians and bomb dogs responded to the call, spending what officials called “thousands of dollars” in manhours and equipment needlessly.
“You have to respond appropriately and according to protocol every time. These are kids lives we are talking about and we take these situations very seriously. But when they are fake, it is so senseless,” said one officer on the scene.
No bomb or other device had been found by 3:30 p.m. after bomb dogs sniffed the interior and exterior of the three-year-old, $20 million facility on Highway 373 just off Highway 45 North.
It was at least the third bomb threat at the school in the last two years.