It took less than 10 minutes for Creighton Community Schools to evacuate all students and staff after a bomb threat was called in Wednesday afternoon.
Superintendent Robby Thompson said the school’s protocol was followed after the school received a call stating there was a bomb in school. He said the procedure consisted of calling authorities and evacuating to an alternative site.
“Students, staff and parents did a great job of following protocol throughout the entire situation,” Thompson said. “After this event, the Crisis Team met and critiqued what had transpired.”
As part of their action plan, students walked with teachers and staff to the nearby Faith, Hope, and Love Church. The school sent out two calls via their communication system: one at 2:10 p.m. notifying parents of the evacuation and the next at 2:28 p.m. informing them that they may pick up their children from the church.
He said the school’s protocol is practiced and evaluated for any necessary improvements. Creighton Police Chief Mark Duncan said these actions likely led to Wednesday’s “very quick and smooth” evacuation process.
“We do practice similar events,” Principal Ryon Nilson said. “We have been through practice and had some preparation for that.”
After Wednesday’s evacuation, parents lined up outside Faith, Hope, and Love Church and were gradually allowed inside to fill out identification forms before the children were released to them. The Creighton School announced that all students were reunited with their parents by 4:15 p.m.
St. Ludger’s Catholic School also evacuated their students and staff to the Creighton Fire Department due to the generic nature of the bomb threat. Even Bloomfield’s school district went into a lock-out situation on Wednesday. According to Bloomfield Supt. Shane Alexander, no one was allowed in or out of the school buildings; however, classes continued on a normal schedule.
Jesse Pollock’s daycare, located across the street from the Creighton School, was also evacuated on Wednesday, as were a few nearby residents. Pollock transported four children to a different location, per her evacuation plan, and parents were notified for pick up.
The Creighton Fire Department advised the daycare of the threat and also assisted by blocking off traffic for a one-block radius surrounding the Creighton School. Fireman Phil Ebel, who was monitoring traffic southeast of the school, said his instructions were: “Nobody in or nobody out.”
After initial building sweeps by local law enforcement, a Nebraska State Patrol bomb-detecting K9 was used to clear Creighton Public School and St. Ludger’s. Once the school was given the “all-clear,” Creighton students were allowed to retrieve personal belongings and vehicles that night.
Just after midnight, a suspect was interviewed and confessed to making the threat. Christi Johnson, 34, of Yankton, So.Dak. has since been charged with false reporting.
Students at Creighton Public School and St. Ludger Elementary returned to school on Thursday at the regular time — some without backpacks, as they were left in the building the previous day. The police chief was stationed outside the elementary entrance as students arrived.
“Thank you to the Creighton Fire Department and all of the law enforcement officers for their immediate response,” administration at the Creighton School said.