Students and staff were evacuated from the Howard T. Ennis School in Georgetown on Tuesday, March 6, when a bomb threat disrupted the school day.
According to police, around 1 p.m., an unknown male suspect made a phone call to the front office, stating there was a bomb in the building. Students were evacuated from the school building within 13 minutes of the phone call, and Delaware State Police K9 officers were called in to search the building.
The entirety of Ennis Road between Route 113 and Vaughn Road was also shut down.
The bomb-sniffing dogs detected nothing out of the ordinary in the building, so the search concluded and the road reopened about 3:45 p.m.
Students and staff had exited school grounds to wait at a nearby property. When the search was concluded, buses were called in, and school ended early.
Howard T. Ennis provides specialized educational support to students who have significant disabilities. Some students are in wheelchairs and others may have been in the swimming pool, which made the evacuation more challenging, according to school district officials.
“It was a challenge for the staff, but they really did a great job under the circumstances and handled the incident well,” said David Maull, Indian River School District spokesperson.
By Wednesday morning, it was back to business as usual for the school.
Bomb threats within Indian River School District are typically made at the high schools, Maull noted. He estimated, but could not confirm, that the last high-school bomb threat occurred around the 2008-09 school year at Sussex Central High School.
Making a bomb threat – legally labeled as terroristic threatening – is considered a felony because of the mass evacuations required. The nearby Delaware Technical & Community College was not significantly impacted by the bomb threat.
The police investigation into the incident was ongoing mid-week. If anyone has any information on the incident, they are being asked to contact Troop 4 at (302) 856-5850 or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333. Information may also be provided via the Internet at www.tipsubmit.com, or send an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword DSP.