SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Students were permitted to return to Gulliver Preparatory School after police evacuated the campus due to a reported bomb threat.
Approximately 750 students evacuated the school in Pinecrest after the bomb threat was called in, Thursday morning.
According to Pinecrest Police’s Twitter, the bomb threat was received, Thursday, via a phone call, at around 10:30 a.m. The school was entirely evacuated, and officials blocked off the roadway for hours around the perimeter of the school, which has since been reopened.
Gulliver Preparatory School said in a statement that “all students, faculty and staff have been safely evacuated, and authorities are on-site securing the campus.”
7’s Skyforce HD flew over the scene as students waited to be bussed to the Miller Drive campus. Students at that campus were released early.
“A lot of people thought it was a joke at first, that it was just a drill,” said student Leslie Benaudis. “We had no idea what was going on.”
“When we got the call, we immediately went into our emergency procedures, all of which worked perfectly,” said Frank Steel, Head of Schools at Gulliver Schools. “Our students evacuated great.”
A bomb squad responded to the scene, as well as K-9 units to sweep the school.
“Pinecrest Police was the first on the scene, they evacuated the scene, or they’re working the scene, actually,” said Pinecrest Police spokesperson Michelle Hammontree. “We have FIU police helping us. Their K-9 bomb sniffing dogs are here, so are UM’s K-9 bomb sniffing dogs.”
During that time period, parents were updated via email from the head of the school and notified where they could pick up their children.
“I think we, as parents, are more panicky, make sure everything is OK,” said parent Monique Day. “You don’t know exactly who to reach.”
All school activities were suspended, the school said.
Law enforcement gave the all clear around 3:30 p.m., and students and parents are now allowed to return back to Gulliver Prep to retrieve their belongings.
However, one parent was angry at the false alarm. “They’re creating havoc. This is baloney. Nothing happened,” said one parent.
Steel, however, stressed that the safety of the students is the school’s top priority. “As always, the safety of our students is paramount to us, and that’s what we’ve been focusing on,” he said.
Students said throughout the ordeal, they felt safe. “At first, we thought it was a drill, like always, ’cause this is usually a drill,” said student Denary Day, “but once we were on the field, we saw a SWAT guy come, and he was holding a pretty big gun.”
The school is expected to remain open until 9 p.m. to give students an ample amount of time to get their school supplies.
The school day tomorrow will continue as normal.
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