ACHS King Street evacuated due to bomb threat; school resumed normally

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ACHS King Street evacuated due to bomb threat; school resumed normally
Alexandria City High School evacuated Monday afternoon after a bomb threat, but the school day resumed. (File photo)
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By Caitlyn Meisner | cmeisner@alextimes.com

Alexandria City High School’s King Street campus was evacuated just before noon when the fire alarm was pulled in the building. The building was officially cleared at 2:21 p.m. and no threat to the public was found according to the Alexandria Police Department.

The first announcement of the evacuation came on the police scanner at 11:55 a.m. A few moments later, the announcement was spread throughout the school. People on the scanner were instructed to “do what [they] did last time,” which is referring to the November 2 bomb threat at ACHS. Everyone was evacuated to the football field.

According to the police scanner, police were dispatched to the high school around 12:04 p.m. and calls were made to neighboring jurisdictions for a K-9 bomb unit at 12:18 p.m. Arlington County Police assisted APD and provided the K-9 unit. 

At 12:39 p.m., the plan was to reenter the building with students and resume the school day. “Search support” arrived at 12:40 p.m., according to the police scanner. Search teams were estimated to need about 45 minutes to search the high school.

At 1:01 p.m., a male asked to try and keep all students on the football field and near the concessions area. A female voice responded: “We’re doing our best.” 

At 1:08 p.m., police at the ACHS scene requested for more K-9 units from neighboring jurisdictions. The K-9 already at the scene was “running low,” according to the police scanner at 1:06 p.m. The K-9 unit took a break at 1:24 p.m. 

A male voice said administration may need to reconsider a new reentry plan as “over half” the students had exited the ACHS football field, according to the scanner. Parents were also lined up on King Street. 

According to the police scanner, at 1:33 p.m., medical personnel were dispatched to ACHS because a student was having a seizure. Students were instructed around 2 p.m. to grab food as they reentered the building – since lunches were interrupted – and head to sixth period. 

After school activities resumed normally once the school day resumed. 

This is the message sent from ACHS administration to parents and families at 12:41 p.m.:

“At about noon today, students and staff at the Alexandria City High School King Street campus were evacuated in response to a bomb threat received by Alexandria City Public Schools. The Alexandria Police Department is on site and working with ACHS administration, ACPS leadership and the ACPS Office of Safety and Security Services. 

Students were evacuated from the King Street Campus to designated areas outside, in accordance with ACPS school safety protocol. Once APD provides the all clear to re-enter the building, there will be a modified schedule for the rest of the school day. Classes will reconvene and students will be served lunch, per the modified schedule.

We ask families to please not come to the ACHS campuses at this time. Updates will be provided as the investigation proceeds and more information becomes available. An Alexandria City Public Schools video provides more information on what happens when a school is evacuated.

The safety and security of our students and staff are of utmost priority. We will continue to communicate with any additional information and will update the ACHS website.”

This article has been updated to reflect developments in the story.

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