RALEIGH — A bomb threat Wednesday prompted police and school officials to take the unusual step of relocating about 2,000 students from Broughton High School to a middle school more than 3 miles away while police searched for a bomb.
No bomb was found. Police spokesman Jim Sughrue said late Wednesday that no arrests had been made. He declined to say whether police know who made the threat.
Police and school officials have declined to say how the threat was made or what specific information led them to decide to bus Broughton students from St. Mary’s Street to Martin Middle School on Ridge Road. There, the students were kept near the school’s athletic fields until their parents could pick them up or buses came to take them home.
Police were notified about the threat shortly after 9 a.m. and began a sweep through the school that continued until early afternoon, said Sughrue. Police always take bomb threats seriously until they can determine whether the threat is real or not, he said.
Sughrue dismissed rumors that the officers were actually responding to reports of a threatened shooting at the school.
“The information we reported accurately reflected the nature of the threat. It was a bomb threat,” he said. “But it is understandable that rumors and other information gets circulated in a situation like that.”
Families were sent direct emergency phone messages about the bomb threat from the school.
The decision to transport Broughton students to Martin Middle School was based on what school administrators thought was “credible” information along with the police assessment of the situation, said Wake County schools spokeswoman Renee McCoy.
There are 2,136 students enrolled at Broughton, McCoy said. She said she and other schools officials could not recall an entire student body being evacuated from a school in response to a bomb threat or other emergency, but said it is an option under the school system’s safety guidelines.
“It all depends on the level of emergency, from minor incidents to something more major,” McCoy said. ”It’s to ensure the safety of the students and staff.”
Martin’s classes were not affected by the evacuation, but school officials warned that the resulting crowds at the school were expected to delay buses for Martin students and make it more difficult for parents to pick up their kids.