East High parents question bomb threat procedure

Police investigating Youngstown East High School bomb threat

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – East High School was put on lockdown Thursday after a bomb threat was called into the 911 Center just before 11 a.m.

Many parents gathered outside the school trying to find out exactly what was going on. They were upset the district had not given them official information.

“Nothing at all from the school, nobody. My daughter called me and she told me there was a bomb threat,” parent Veronica Soto said.

Soto and other parents waited outside for a couple of hours to hear from Youngstown City School officials.

Police, including officers from Kent State University and Toledo who were in town for training, entered the school with bomb-sniffing dogs. The building was given the all-clear a few hours later and parents were allowed to take their kids home.

“The reason we did that was because of the temperature outside. We didn’t want the kids to stay outside. So what we did was we cleared the auditorium and gymnasium first and put the kids in there. Then as rooms were cleared with K-9 dogs, the kids were moved back to their classes,” Youngstown Police Sgt. Steve Schiffhauer said.

Superintendent Dr. Connie Hathorn said he felt the children were safe inside during the lockdown and it was too cold to bring them outside.

He acknowledged that there should be a plan in place to notify parents when this type of incident occurs, but the safety of the students is the district’s top priority.

Many parents were asking why their children were kept inside during the investigation. Hathorn said students were safe and it was too cold and would have been more chaotic.

“To try to get say, 20 buses over here, in that time span, to move the kids to another building. So we made a decision. And I will take the blame. I take the criticism for that,” Hatthorn said. uestion

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