Upper Arlington News

Jones Middle School

Authorities seek source of Feb. 21 bomb threat


Upper Arlington police and school district officials are continuing to investigate a bomb threat that resulted in the complete evacuation of Jones Middle School last week.

Students were evacuated shortly after 9:55 a.m. Friday, Feb. 21, said Karen Truett, district director of communications.

She said administrative staff members at the school received an anonymous call that indicated a bomb was in the building.

"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 school technology personnel are working with Upper Arlington police to investigate the incident.

Heather Galli, from the police division's community relations unit, said officers will continue to use all their resources to find out who made the phone call.

"The situation remains under investigation, but we are utilizing a number of resources in an attempt to identify the origin of the call," Galli said.

Truett said students and staff members were out of the building for about 45 minutes while police searched the building and school grounds.

"An important next step will be to review everything that happened to see if we can continually improve our safety plans," she said. "We will work with our city partners in police and fire and talk about anything we hadn't thought about including in our plan."

Galli said no suspicious items were found during an extensive search of the school after it was evacuated.

Jones Principal Shelly Hughes said her students responded to the 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.

"It ended up being a positive experience as far as learning how the students would behave in an emergency situation," she said.

Anyone with information about the bomb threat should call the Upper Arlington Division of Police at 614-583-5160.