Tuesday morning, county officials announced that a “serious” bomb threat had forced the evacuation of Parrish Community High School. The whole campus, including the buildings, was cleared out to the open portions of the grounds.
According to Scott Hopes, the County Administrator, public safety officials had intended to set up a reunification center at the Manatee County Fairgrounds, located at 1402 14th Ave. W. in Palmetto. However, after 3 p.m., school authorities reported that the 2:30 p.m. dismissal had been reinstated and pupils had been dismissed as usual.
Hopes said during a public workshop meeting of the Manatee County Commission that “There was a significant bomb threat at Parrish Community High School” On Tuesday morning, just before 10 a.m., school district spokesman Michael Barber emailed parents and families to inform them that a threat had been received via FortifyFL, a security app used to report suspicious activity to law enforcement and school administrators.
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The email stated that
“As always, the school will be working with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and district security on responding to this anonymous threat,”
“In doing so, they will follow all proper procedures and protocols related to bomb threats.”
Another email was sent to parents about 15 minutes later to let them know that the school was being evacuated while police searched the premises. The email reassured
“All students and staff are safe and law enforcement is checking the campus to make sure everything is secure,”
Around 11:30 a.m., the district provided an update saying that kids could drive themselves home if they had permission from their parents, while other arrangements were being arranged for those who did not have cars. As an update to county commissioners, Hopes said,
“Parents are lined up all over the place”
during the meeting’s middle portion. On Tuesday morning, the sheriff’s office’s public information officer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Officials from the school district have scheduled a press conference for 3:30 PM to provide updates on the situation at PCHS. Bomb threat information is scheduled to be provided by Superintendent Cynthia Saunders and Sheriff Rick Wells.
Parents of Parrish Community High School students expressed their alarm at the ongoing threats in a Facebook page set up for the high school.
“With the respect, this is getting ridiculous now. Manatee County Sheriff’s Office has to do something about this. Another threat,”
Recently, PCHS has responded to multiple urgent circumstances. Last week, footage showing students fleeing the college in response to social media claims about a gun on campus went viral. There was no danger, the school system said; the noise was just kids responding to the doors closing as they left. The school’s lockdown procedures were activated twice due to medical emergencies.
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