Upper Arlington News

Police still investigating UA middle school bomb threat

The Upper Arlington Police Division still is investigating a reported bomb threat that occurred about 9:55 a.m. today (Feb. 21) at Jones Middle School, according to a press release issued by the UAPD.

Administrative staff members received an anonymous threat by phone indicating a bomb was in the school, the release stated. Students and staff members immediately were evacuated to a nearby elementary school while the UAPD, Upper Arlington Fire Division and school personnel conducted a safety inspection throughout the property. No suspicious packages or items were found during this extensive search, and students were returned to the building once it was deemed safe, according to the release.

Jones principal Shelly Hughes told ThisWeek her students responded to the emergency situation in the best possible way.

“I have to tell you the students were phenomenal,” she said. “They were quiet when we asked them to be quiet, and my staff was amazing in carrying out the procedures we’ve practiced and carrying out the evacuation. It ended up being a positive experience as far as learning how the students would behave in an emergency situation.”

Karen Truett, Upper Arlington City Schools communications director, said the evacuation was started a few minutes after the threat was made.

“Right after they hung up the phone, they called authorities and the main office and started evacuating to another school,” Truett said. “Everyone followed our safety procedures so they were able to evacuate the building in an orderly way.”

She said the students and staff members were out of the building about 45 minutes to an hour while police investigated.

“An important next step will be to review what happened to see if we can continually improve on our safety plans,” Truett said. “We will work with our city partners in police and fire and talk about anything we hadn’t thought about, including in the plan.”

Anyone with information about the bomb threat should call the UAPD at 614-583-5160.