A bomb scare last week at Carbondale Area High School turned out to be a false alarm, but that doesn't mean the incident is over.
"We're treating this very seriously," offered David Cerra, the district's acting superintendent. "It was a terrible inconvenience for everyone involved."
Cerra stated that a message left in one of the CAHS bathrooms around noon on Friday, March 22, sparked the district's response. He said all of the staff and students in the building were moved over to the elementary school while the high school was checked for any type of explosive device.
"That's standard procedure for us under district policy — if there is a threat to one building, we will immediately transfer the staff and students over to the other one until the targeted building is determined to be safe," he explained.
"The key thing is to get the [threatened] building cleared very quickly," he noted, "and we were able to do that in this case with the help of emergency services personnel."
Cerra said it was all over in about an hour and a half, then the remainder of the school day went on as normal.
"It only took 95 minutes or so to wrap everything up," he related, "and we dismissed all of the students at 3 p.m. as usual."
Still, he stated that the bomb scare entailed the moving of so many people in such a short amount of time that there's always a risk someone can get hurt or something can go wrong.
"There's always that possibility," he pointed out. "It's just a lot of time and logistics involved in transferring everyone over to the other building then back again, and of course we have to call all of the parents and take all of the other precautionary measures you would expect for a threat of this nature."
"I don't know why anyone would do something like this, there's no rationale whatsoever for it," he offered.
Cerra said law enforcement officials are continuing to investigate the incident "as we speak," and he assured that the case will be "investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
"Hopefully we can bring this to a satisfactory conclusion and it will never happen again," he noted.