Written bomb threat sends Silver Bluff into hard lockdown

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October 9, 2006

Another school day, another school bomb threat.

But the response to this one went way beyond normal.

Aiken County deputies are trying to figure who is behind today's threat at Silver Bluff High School that kept students locked in and worried parents locked out.

It's the school's second scare in just two days.

The entrances to Silver Bluff were completely closed off to help the school keep track of everyone.

Calls from parents were even flooding the phone lines in our newsroom, scared when they couldn't get past the police cars.

Worried parents tried to catch a peek at their children as deputies searched the school for explosives. Beverly Bishop was one of many stopped in the roadblock.

"We'd rather they come home where they can be safe," she said.

"I'm going to get my kids and take them home with me!" said Doris Andrews. But Doris couldn't get anywhere near her kids.

The parents were all stopped less than half a mile away from the school. But that was scary for many because from that location, you can't see what's going on.

The roadblocks are emotional for some, but the hard lockdown policy is in place for the safety of the students. It helps officers keep track of everyone and could help them find the person behind the threat.

"They will notify law enforcement in a timely manner, we will respond, and we'll do the job that has to be done," Lt. Michael Frank of the Aiken County Sheriff's Office told News 12.

Deputies say a teacher found the threatening note right before school started this morning, and that's why they spent several hours searching the school and the students spent several hours in the stadium.

"This is worrying me a little bit today," said parent Vicky Spires.

"This is two days they haven't had school," Beverly said. "They were so scared Friday, and then today. Something needs to be done."

The fear continues to build for parents like Beverly, who can only sit and wait as the threats against their children continue.

Friday's scare did not lead to an evacuation, because there were only rumors of a threat. Aiken County's policy calls for a hard lockdown and an evacuation whenever there is an actual threat.

Schools immediately turn these cases over to the sheriff's department. Anyone caught making terroristic threats can face felony charges.

Today marks threat number six for schools across the area in just over a week.