The Meridian Star
By Brian Livingston
A note scribbled on a piece of paper referencing a bomb forced Newton County School District officials Tuesday morning to evacuate all students from the high school and alternative school.
Newton County Sheriff Jackie Knight nothing out of the ordinary was found by authorities during a search of the schools. He said it was just after noon before the all clear was given and the students were allowed back on campus.
"Everything went good and we didn't find anything," Knight said. "This is all about the safety of the students and staff of the schools."
"The kids had to stay on the bus for about two and a half hours because it was just too cold to let them stand outside at the safe area," Knight said. "But they handled it just fine."
Knight said the evacuations were in response to the note being found around 9:20 a.m. at the alternative school. Knight said although he didn't know exactly what the note said, he said it mentioned a possible bomb on the campus of Newton County High School in Decatur.
School district officials immediately put into action the protocols designed to get all the students, teachers and administrative staff out of the buildings and to predetermined safe areas. Knight said the children were gathered outside the alternative and high schools and were placed on buses to be transported to a safe area away from the campus.
An explosives K-9 officer with the Mississippi Highway Patrol was called in to search both schools for anything that might pose a threat. Knight said that it was fortunate the trooper and his K-9 partner were in the immediate vicinity of the schools when the alert was given.