ELKTON — A bomb threat at Elkton High School — which investigators later determined to be unsubstantiated — prompted police to call for an early dismissal of students on Friday afternoon, according to the Elkton Police Department.
Capt. Joseph Zurolo, an EPD spokesman, reported that “four different calls” were made to the school office at some point late Friday morning or early afternoon, indicating that a bomb had been planted inside the building. EPD has a school resources officer assigned to EHS.
“They were ghost calls. The caller or callers used ‘spoof’ numbers, so it looked like they were calling from one location, when they actually were calling from another,” Zurolo explained.
Based on the bomb threat made through those multiple phone calls, according to Zurolo, investigators decided that EHS students should be dismissed as soon as possible.
“We wanted to err on the side of caution,” Zurolo commented.
He also reported that the building was cleared because Maryland State Police troopers with scent dogs specially trained to detect the presence of explosive devices would be searching and scanning inside the school.
As a result, CCPS officials sent automated phones messages to the parents of EHS students, informing them of the early dismissal and the reason for it, according to Kelly Keeton, a CCPS spokeswoman.
School officials also posted the following notice on the school system’s Facebook page at approximately 12:30 p.m. Friday:
“Due to a bomb threat at Elkton High School, students will be dismissed from the school as advised by law enforcement as a precautionary measure. Walkers and students who drive will be dismissed immediately. Bus riders will be dismissed as buses arrive at the schools. Parents who wish to sign their children out will be directed to the proper entrance and will follow sign out procedures. Individuals authorized to pick up students should have their photo identification.”
The notice indicated that “law enforcement is present at the school to assist in the dismissal.”
Keeton reported, “It’s my understanding that teachers and administrators also came out of the building.”
“They did a sweep of the building and no bomb was discovered,” Zurolo told the Cecil Whig, referring to the MSP K-9 units, adding, “There was no validity to the bomb threat.”
At least one Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office investigator reportedly was dispatched to the scene during the incident.
Keeton approximated that teachers and administrators were permitted to reenter the school shortly before 3 p.m., roughly when school officials sent a second automated message to the parents of EHS students.
That message informed parents that administrators would be at the school until 4 p.m. if students wanted to collect personal items that they left inside the building when the evacuation occurred, Keeton reported.