Clarksville, MD – Police descended upon River Hill High School after a report of a threat to students was made.
According to police, officers searched the grounds of of the school after receiving a phone call threat of a student with a gun and bomb just before 2 p.m.
“There is no evidence of actual danger at this time. Detectives are investigating source of the call. Some students now leaving the school,” the Howard County Police Department said.
The school was placed on lockdown for several hours while police investigated on Tuesday. The scene was cleared by 5 p.m.
“Earlier today, school staff was made aware of a possible threat of violence directed at River Hill High School. The school was immediately placed in lockdown at approximately 1:45 p.m. so police could conduct a swift and thorough investigation and students and staff would remain safe,” said Howard County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano. “Since police were not able to quickly determine that the threat was invalid, they took swift action to ensure students and staff were safe and confirm the threat was a hoax. Their response was significant. I suspect students, staff, families and even those who may have seen parts of the response on social media were taken back by what they witnessed at River Hill. But I am grateful to know that when we receive a threat to our children and staff as significant as this one, that police will respond at such a high level. The safety of our schools is our top priority and I am grateful to know that Chief Der and the HCPD share that priority.”
Martirano said the timing of the incident posed a particular challenge to the district as it affected dismissal and told parents that for the safety of the students, the lockdown measures in place are intended to keep students from possible harm.
“I also am appreciative of the patience and understanding of parents, guardians and family members who were understandably concerned about the welfare of their children. I spoke to many of you at the reunification site and empathize with the concern you must have had throughout the afternoon. I’m sure I share your great relief to now know that students and staff were safe at all times,” he added. “During a lockdown, all interior and exterior doors are locked, and no one may enter or leave the building. Students and staff in relocatable classrooms remain in place and follow the same procedures as those inside the main building unless the school incident commander determines another response is warranted.”