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Bomb scare forces Amsterdam High School evacuation

Bomb scare forces Amsterdam High School evacuation

A bomb threat prompted officials to evacuate Amsterdam High School Thursday afternoon.
Bomb scare forces Amsterdam High School evacuation
Amsterdam High School students Nicole Herrington, 16, left, and Nicole Konitzer, 17, wait at a cross walk in front of Amsterdam High School, after a bomb threat Thursday.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

A bomb threat prompted officials to evacuate Amsterdam High School Thursday afternoon.

Greater Amsterdam School District Superintendent Thomas Perillo said a male student reported to the high school’s administration that another male student told him he had brought something explosive into the building and that it was going to go off.

Perillo said he received a call with that information around 11:40 a.m. and ordered the building to be evacuated.

“We didn’t want to take any chances,” Perillo said.

The administration located the student who made the threat, who admitted doing it but said he didn’t really bring an explosive into the school.

Perillo said the student will be disciplined per the district’s code of conduct.

State police were called to sweep the building using bomb-sniffing dogs.

In the meantime, Perillo said he realized that the evacuated students were standing outside in freezing rain and called to the bus garage to have them send all available buses.

Perillo said most students were only outside for about 25 minutes.

“When I got up there I was concerned about the safety of the kids because of the bomb scare, but once they were safe outside I was worried because of the cold rain,” Perillo said.

Desiree Rinehart, 16, a sophomore, said she was at lunch when she was told to leave the building. She left the school with freshman Trindalynn Velie, 14, who said she was in reading and writing class when she was told to leave. The girls had only heard there was a bomb threat but did not have any more information.

Students were dismissed early and were not allowed to return to the building. Students left the building with what was in their hands, some in short-sleeve shirts, most without jackets. A few students had left without their car keys and had to either walk home or to a friend’s house.

Student Ashley Soodol, her hair wet and matted, said she had what was necessary but her books were still sitting in the classroom.

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