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The Roar

Tuscarora Bomb Threat Raises Questions About School Safety

What would we do if that had been us?

Kyra Breslow, Managing Editor

  The entire county was shocked and horrified when Tuscarora High School received a bomb threat on the morning of Oct. 13. The students were evacuated and spent the day at Heritage High School until the police gave the all clear later that afternoon.

 “I heard about it via someone asking a teacher what happened with the bomb threat, and the teacher explained it to everyone who didn’t know about it, which was including me at the time,” said sophomore Jack Dyson.

  Social media has been reporting that there was a harmful device found in the building, but new information states that nothing was found and the threat was a hoax. Officials are trying to find who sent the threat in the pending investigation.

  “The process is that we would take and analyze all the information, look at the totality of the circumstances, and all the information that was given. We would look at how it was received, if possible, who it was received by, and the specifics of what it said. Then we would take all that information and decide if it’s considered a credible threat or not. If it’s not credible then we would try to find more information, if we thought it was credible then we would evacuate the school,” said Safety and Security Specialist Bob Sponaugle.

  Though the threat was deemed fake, it raises some anxiety that it could happen to any one of the schools in Loudoun County.

  “If there was one, I would be very, very scared because to be honest, I feel like with my luck; it would be near me. I feel like there would be ignorant people who wouldn’t follow procedure. I’ll say it, I would probably be a bit hectic as well, but I would want to get to the place we’re supposed to go,” said junior Allyson Lee.

  This threat doesn’t make students and teachers feel any better about the recent threats to many schools across the country by people dressed in clown masks. Many students make jokes about it since a majority of these are planned clown attacks that have been deemed fake, but these clowns are no laughing matter.

  “I actually didn’t mind clowns until this started. I get that scaring friends is really funny, I’ve done that before, but I feel like it gets to a point where now some cases are luring kids out into the woods and people are actually getting hurt, and that’s taking it too far,” said Lee.

  Even if they are fake, these threats should be reported when seen on any form of social media since it is against their policies. Everywhere ranging from Facebook to Instagram have seen their fair share of clowns; one account had a list of schools they were going to attack and rumors went around that students were trying to get Potomac Falls added to that list. This was obviously a hoax since the scheduled date was Oct. 14 during the homecoming football game, but it does raise the question as to what would happen if someone were to really attack the school.

  “Here’s what happens in an emergency; everyone freaks out because we’re trying to figure out what’s happening and then we decide what drill we’re going to implement. So if a clown busts into the school, we’re probably going to follow a lockdown procedure. Depends what they’re threatening, maybe it’s just some student and we just have to get them to take the mask, that’s different; we probably wouldn’t go into a lockdown. If they’re wielding a weapons and running around like a crazy person, we might have to go into lockdown. It just depends on what happens,” said Principal Dr. Elizabeth Noto.

  Whether they’re true or not, there has been a recent spike in school threats across the country, and it’s recommended that students stay safe and report anything suspicious immediately.

  “I don’t know if there’s a sudden spike or not, or if there’s just more publicity towards it. I think [the clowns] are just copycats, someone else did it and now someone else wants to try it because they want to be part of that problem,” said Sponaugle.  

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The student news site of Potomac Falls High School