Three Winslow schools evacuate for bomb threats in one week

By the time you read this there is no telling how high the count may have gone. On Monday afternoon there were five bomb threats already recorded since Tuesday. March 6 when Washington school discovered a threat written on a bathroom wall and evacuated at 2 p.m..

Thursday Winslow Highs School was evacuated for a threat at 11 a.m. The high school got the all-clear in time to declare a lunch hour and come back for classes before dismissal.

Friday, there was a bomb scare at the junior high school in the afternoon. Now, on Monday, there have been two threats and evacuations in one morning.

Tuesday afternoon at 2:15 p.m. a bomb threat written in a bathroom was reported to the Washington School office. The school was evacuated and the police department called. Winslow police searched the building and no device was found. There is a continuing investigation.

Just after 11 a.m. WHS evacuated students and called emergency services when a bomb threat was discovered on a wall in the old gym. Students were released from the football field to parents and all remaining students were released for lunch at 1 p.m. when the all-clear was given. School resumed with 5th period at 2 p.m. Assistant Superintendent Joe Bullmore said that the High School implemented its procedures and that he wanted to thank the students who were very cooperative. Thanks were also owed to the cooperation of the emergency team which included the Winslow Police and Fire Departments, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, AMS ambulance service and the Navajo County Sheriff's Office.

These events are taking a lot of valuable time from agencies all across Navajo County. The school system is serious in looking for those who are causing these disruptions. Administrators and staff are equally angry and will take measures as necessary.

Another thing the students may not realize is that city workers and the police and fire departments are tied up by these calls. Sometimes there is a space for this and sometimes there are people who need ambulances or fires that break our and everything is tied up. One time two years ago there was a fire on I-40 and a fire on Williamson at the same time. Fire engines for I-40 had to come all the way from Winona.

The same thing can happen with ambulance services. If someone gets hurt on the highway and then there is an accident in town, we run out of ambulances.

City workers are part of the plan too. They have to bring their trucks to help block streets. One man was on Colorado on Monday at noon, for the second time that day. It is not only the students who get a late lunch. All the workers tied up by the evacuation are late too.

The good news is that the plans for evacuation are being worked out and fine tuned. The district will continue to do so. Washington School, for instance, takes its students clear away from the school to two churches. This way, whatever the weather, the children are inside and safe. They are also far enough from the school so that if there should be a real device, no one will get hurt.

Only the police and fire people are really at risk once the schools are evacuated. These are people who live in Winslow and are related to many of the students. Maybe it is worth the while of students to try to keep them safe.

All of the city needs to work together if this atmosphere of threat is to be changed. Bomb threats, like bringing weapons to school, are always potential dangers. It needs to be stopped.

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