A Friday afternoon bomb threat that was later cleared left the streets around Longview High School heavily congested as parents pulled up to roadsides to pick up their children and some students walked off campus.
A sweep of the campus declared it clear around 2:05 p.m.
A call was placed from a disposable cellphone to the Longview Police Department about a bomb threat to the high school, according to the police department’s Facebook page.
District spokeswoman Elizabeth Ross said the call was placed around noon. Longview police officers arrived on campus soon after the call.
Ross said once the police contacted the high school, the high school contacted Assistant Superintendent Dennis Williams, who then contacted Ross to send out an “all call” to parents, faculty and staff. An all call is a recorded message that can be sent out quickly to a group.
The first all call for the initial threat went out from the district at 12:20 p.m., but Ross said it did not reach all families for some reason.
While communication was being planned, the campus began its bomb threat protocol, Ross said. Lobo Stadium was swept first, so that administrators would know they had a safe place to take students, she said.
The students were evacuated to the visitors’ side of the stadium while the school was swept, she said.
Senior Coy Sanders was in class when word of the threat started spreading. He said a message over the intercom system told teachers to take students to the stadium.
Sanders said most of the students were calm, until some saw police on the campus. Students then began running out of the building.
The experience was similar to a fire drill, but he said, “Everybody was freaking out, because they didn’t know.”
Longview police updated a post on Facebook around 1:40 p.m. to report that parents could pick up their children in the parking lot at Hawkins Parkway and Airline Road.
However, some parents were seen waiting for their children along Airline Road and also parked at the LHS Aquatic Center across Hawkins Parkway as students wandered around.
Ross said Longview police notified the district the campus was clear around 2:05 p.m. Another all call was sent out to notify families and staff the campus was clear. Remaining students then returned to the cafeteria.
She said parents could either pick up students, or they returned to regular classes at 3 p.m.
2:15 p.m. update: At about 2:05 p.m. Longview ISD spokeswoman Elizabeth Ross said the police department notified the district that Longview High School is clear. Students who remained on campus were returned to the cafeteria.
The students will remain in the cafeteria until 3 p.m., Ross said. At 3 p.m. they will return to their regular classes. Parents can come pick students up if they wish, however.
Ross said a message went out to parents about the initial threat, but she said it for some reason did not reach everyone. She said the district apologizes for the call not reaching everyone. Another call went out notifying everyone that the campus was cleared and students were returning to the classroom.
1:41 p.m. update: Longview police updated the post on Facebook to report that parents of Longview High School students can pick up their children in the parking lot at the corner of Hawkins Parkway and Airline Road.
The announcement comes following a bomb threat made against the school to Longview police.
1:15 p.m. update: Longview High School senior Coy Sanders was in class when word of the bomb threat at the school began to spread. He said a message over the intercom system instructed teachers to escort students to the visitor’s side of the football stadium.
Sanders said most of the students were calm, but that some saw police on the campus and began running out of the building.
Sanders likened the events to a fire drill, but he said, “Everybody was freaking out, because they didn’t know.”
1:09 p.m. update: Longview police posted the following notice on Facebook after the News-Journal received word about the bomb threat:
LHS Families: There has been a bomb threat made for Longview High School. Longview Police received a threat from a track phone and immediately contacted administration and LHS. Longview High School started their bomb threat protocols and made a sweep of Lobo Stadium. Once it was deemed safe, students and staff were evacuated to Lobo Stadium. No one will be allowed in any building until is has been completely swept and deemed 100% safe. We will continue to update families with all calls and social media posts as we have more information.
Longview High School students have been evacuated to Lobo Stadium after a bomb threat was called in to the Longview Police Department.
District spokeswoman Elizabeth Ross said LPD received a bomb threat to the high school Friday. The police department then contacted school administration.
After a sweep of the stadium, students were evacuated there. Ross said the other buildings are now being swept, and no one will be allowed in during the sweep.