TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — Dozens of police officers stormed a high school in western Indiana Friday morning following a reported bomb threat, but law enforcement later said they thought it was a hoax and that everyone was safe.
Police and district officials have not commented on a Terre Haute Tribune-Star report that the officers swarmed the Terre Haute North High School with guns drawn as children and faculty hid in their classrooms around 10:30 a.m.
Terre Haute Police Chief John Plasse said about 50 officers entered the school. He said the children were moved to the gym while a bomb-sniffing dog checked the premises as a precaution. He said there was no evidence of any explosives at the school.
“The kids are safe. No one has been hurt. There are no hostages,” Plasse told reporters outside the school.
An Indiana State Police spokesman went a step further. “All indications are that this is a hoax call,” Capt. Dave Bursten said.
Agitated parents meanwhile gathered outside the school and demanded to know why their children had not been allowed to leave. Plasse said the students would be dismissed after the dog’s search is completed and they have collected their belongings from classrooms.
Vigo County School Corp. spokesman Mick Newport said some 1,800 students and faculty were told to shelter in place after the school received a call Friday morning from someone making a bomb threat. The school educates children grades nine through 12.
Plasse said he would never have allowed the children to stay in the school if he had believed they were in danger. He said one of his own children attends the school.
Terre Haute is about 75 miles (120 kilometers) southwest of Indianapolis.