Working with Henrico County Police, the administration issued a school evacuation due to a bomb threat found Thursday June 1. An investigation is currently underway to find the culprit.
Principal Andrew Mey said shortly after 9 a.m., threatening notes were found in the bathrooms. The administration followed protocol and placed the school on lockdown in order to restrict the movement of students.
“We then conferred with Henrico Police and they made the decision to move everyone out of the building,” said Mr. Mey. The school proceeded to evacuate onto the football field to a preassigned location.
Once on the football field, the teachers took role to ensure everyone was accounted for, which according to Mr. Mey, takes “a tremendous amount of time.”
The students were held in three locations: the football field, the baseball field, and the big gym. Students were required to move for several reasons.
“Because students traveled to the football field with their belongings, the need was for us to be able to ensure none of the belongings had anything of question,” said Mr. Mey. This was the reason for the first movement. The second movement was to the big gym where there was AC, water, and restrooms.
The event began around 9:30 with the lockdown order, and continued to until shortly after 12, when students were released back to first period. Many parents showed up at the school to pick up their students during the crisis. This was caused by personal worry and by rumors of a 12:30 student dismissal.
“We had to deal with this in an orderly fashion, or else we would end up with two crises,” said Mr. Mey. Parents were kept in the Driver’s Ed lot, until the school day resumed. Then parents were allowed to have their students called from class and dismissed.
Despite the nature of the event, everything ran smoothly due to the cooperation of students and well prepared staff.
“It’s wonderful when you work at a school such as Freeman where you can trust students to do the right thing, and they will do the responsible right thing,” said Mr. Mey. David Zimmerman, the full time substitute for Ms. Vest, also commented on the efficiency of Freeman.
“With a few minor exceptions, all students were very well behaved and everything ran as smoothly as any drills I had as a law enforcement officer,” said Mr. Zimmerman.
Mr. Mey said that there will be more drills conducted next year to ensure if something like this happens again, Freeman will be even more prepared.
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Parents waiting outside for their students after the lockdown was lifted.