Olmsted Township Police Lt. Matt Vanyo said at about 7:45 a.m., a student reported a bomb threat written on the wall of a women’s restroom in the school’s athletic wing.
The school began evacuating by 8:01 a.m., Vanyo said. By 8:08 a.m., all 1,200 students, along with the faculty, had been evacuated. The students were transported to Olmsted Falls Middle School, where parents were able to pick up their children.
Parents were notified by automated phone message and email about the situation and the protocol for picking up students.
Bomb-sniffing dogs were on site by 8:10 a.m. for an interior and exterior sweep of the grounds.
“The buildings and ground are 100 percent clear,” Vanyo said. “The building has been deemed safe and secure.”
Vanyo said police are in the preliminary stages of the criminal investigation, and are investigating all tips received.
According to Vanyo, the message read, “Olmsted Falls, beware of me. I hid bombs in the school. Happy Hunting.”
Superintendent Jim Lloyd said bomb threats don’t usually happen in Olmsted Falls and Olmsted Township schools.
“This is new for us,” he said. He commended the students and faculty for the quick evacuation. Lloyd said the fire alarm was used to notify students to evacuate the building in order to avoid causing a panic.
Students at Olmsted Falls are permitted to have cellphones, which Lloyd said helped improve communications between students and their parents.
“It certainly helped notify parents,” he said.
Olmsted Township Assistant Fire Chief John Rice said the district and emergency personnel prepare for incidents like this, and the response Wednesday was flawless.
Classes will resume at the high school Thursday. No decision had been made as of 11:30 a.m. on the status of after-school activities for Wednesday.