At approximately 7:20 a.m. Wednesday, March 30, a bomb threat was called in to Thomson High School. The call was taken by a THS secretary. The administrative staff was alerted immediately. The secretary was asked if the caller had given a time. She replied no time was given.
She then called 911 and the administration began evacuation of the building and put in motion plans to keep students and staff out of the building until it could be secured. Teachers were sent to each entrance to stop incoming traffic and monitor students in designated areas away from the building.
THS administration moved through the building getting people out and then one administrator went outside in front of the building and another went to the rear of the building. All students coming to the front of the building were directed out in the grass between the road and the flower bed. Students coming in on the busses were sent to the track area. Students coming into the parking lot were parked away from the building and directed to the front of the building. As teachers arrived, they were directed to the staging areas to help with student supervision.
Personnel from the Thomson Police Department arrived in 5-10 minutes from the time of the call. At approximately 7:45 a.m. a search was made of the building. At 8:35 a.m., the school was declared all clear by Officer Jerry Stanphill and Officer Scott Whittle of the Thomson Police Department. At 8:52 a.m., the tardy bell rang for first block. I would like to commend THSfaculty and students for their cooperation during this time. Theteachers sprang into action and createda safe environmentfor our students. Safety of our students is our number one priority.
I would also like to commend THS office staff for dedication and help provided during this time.Mrs. Shurling, Mrs. Ansley and Mrs. Gheesling were calm and manned the office during this time. They provided a valuable link between the school,and the "outside." Anyone caught making threats of this nature will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Dr. Mark Petersen
McDuffie County Schools
(Editor's Note: It is the policy of The McDuffie Mirror not to cover bomb threats, so as not to encourage copycat incidents. However, in this case, Dr. Peteresen sumitted this letter for publication, and we are happy to provide him with this forum.)