911 call prompts precautions at schools

WHEATFIELD, N.Y. (WIVB)- A call to Niagara County 911 prompted two high schools to take precautions Monday morning. The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office says a male caller reported to 911 that there was a bomb at both Niagara Wheatfield High School and Niagara Falls High School. The call was made at 7:50 a.m.

After searches at both schools, nothing suspicious was found. Both schools were eventually cleared to resume their schools days. However, each school handled the reported threat differently.

Niagara Wheatfield “sheltered” their high school and middle school students at Sanborn Fire Hall. More than 2,000 students were moved to the fire hall, about two miles from the school. The district says the sheriff’s office supported this decision.

Niagara Wheatfield parents were notified about the incident by an automated phone message. At the fire hall, parents needed to provide photo identification to pick up their kids. After the all clear was given, the students who had not been picked up were returned to school to resume classes.

That decision did not sit well with some parents.

Naomi Kennedy said, “I stood in line for almost 40 minutes waiting for my kids.”

She discovered that by the time she reached the front of the line, she had to drive to the school to pick up her children.

“I think it’s ridiculous. It’s unsafe. They’ve been traumatized. They went through a traumatic experience. They should be going home,” she said.

Niagara Falls handled the reported bomb differently. In Niagara Falls, they say went into lockdown following guidance from police. They followed normal procedures, and are now following their regularly scheduled school day. There was no intruder in the school.

The sheriff’s office says the caller’s credibility was questionable from the start. They said they caller could be charged with making a terroristic threat.

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