A written bomb threat found at Moscow Middle School on Friday prompted the evacuation of students to the nearby Hamilton Indoor Recreation Center for more than an hour just before the end of the school day.
According to information provided by the Moscow Police Department, the threat was reported at 12:51 p.m., at which time the school was evacuated and students, staff and faculty were walked to the HIRC, about a block northeast of the school across Mountain View Road.
Police personnel investigated the facility and the scene was cleared at 2:36 p.m. No explosive devices were found. Moscow Police Capt. Tyson Berrett said the threat was found on a piece of paper in a middle school bathroom.
News of the threat and evacuation was sent by automated phone message to school district parents by Superintendent Greg Bailey at 2:15 p.m., the regularly scheduled Friday release time for students.
Students were held at the HIRC by school district officials and released to parents once they arrived and provided identification. A long line of parents was outside the HIRC by 2:15 p.m., with many parents reportedly waiting more than 45 minutes to be reunited with their student.
An ambulance was also at the HIRC at that time, called to assist a student who was having breathing issues.
Bailey said all other activities at the middle school and Bear Den gymnasium Friday evening were canceled. He said other schools in the district were placed on lockout status during the evacuation.
According to school district safety information on the MSD website, a lockout is called if there is a threat or hazard outside a school building. Although “business as usual” may take place inside the building, no entry or exit from the building is permitted.
MMS Principal Bill Holman remained at the school until 6 p.m. Friday to allow students to return and pick up items left behind during the evacuation.
The police investigation into this incident is ongoing.