Fights Break Out After Penn Hills High School Bomb Threat (video)

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Fights Break Out After Penn Hills High School Bomb Threat (video)

Post  HopefulInPh on Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:43 pm

PENN HILLS, Pa. -- Students who attend Penn Hills High School found themselves turned away from the school Wednesday morning because of a bomb threat.

Penn Hills School District public relations spokeswoman Teresita Kolenchak told Channel 4 Action News that school buses were running late due to an incident at the high school.

Kolenchak said a bomb threat was called into the high school.

Channel 4 Action News' Marcie Cipriani reported that at 6:30 a.m., someone called 911 to say six pipe bombs had been placed around the school and that anyone who showed up at the building would be shot.

The threat came in early enough that students were relocated to the Fralick Center while officials searched the building. Police said they found nothing during the search.

Cipriani said that the school district sent out a message at 8:10 a.m. saying buses were running behind schedule. At 8:59 a.m., a message went out that the high school was closed because of a threat, and police were searching the building.

According to a statement posted on its website, the district said that "a threat was made to the Senior High School on February 2nd. Students were moved to another location in the District while police investigated.

"By order of the Penn Hills police, the Senior High building has been closed and the secondary location vacated. Police have sent the Senior High School students home."

Cipriani reported that many parents and students told Channel 4 Action News they were confused after the incident and that they didn't get clear information from the school district.

Police said several students were arrested for fighting and that windows were broken inside the Fralick Center.

"Lots of fights. It was wild. I'm surprised that people aren't in the hospital right now because people got trampled," one student told Channel 4 Action News.

Police said despite rumors, no Tasers were used.

"Students were in the area, in the building, in the Fralick Center, and something happened. A couple fights broke out. There was kind of a chaotic situation there. Eventually we arrested seven students for fighting. There were windows broken," said Penn Hills Police Chief Howard Burton.

After the fighting, police ordered the high school closed for the day.

Team 4 Reports: Students, Parents Confused After Penn Hills Threat

Team 4's Jim Parsons reported that a message was sent out to parents explaining that there was a threat, that students were moved to a secondary location and that the high school was closed and students were being sent home. But the message didn't get sent until two-and-a-half hours after the threat was phoned in, Parsons reported.

Parsons reported that the 911 call came in at 6:30 a.m. At 7:01 a.m. the school was put on lockdown. But it wasn't until 7:15 a.m. that the school's public relations person was notified, and it was the Pittsburgh news media who delivered that notification.

At 8:10 a.m., the first message was sent to parents that buses would be delayed. At 8:59 a.m., a second message was sent explaining the situation, Parsons reported.

Penn Hills does not currently have a permanent school superintendent.

Channel 4 Action News has asked for an interview with the acting superintendent, but the district spokesperson has not yet gotten back to the station.


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