Bomb threat prompts Los Altos High evacuation

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN AND NAINA SRIVASTAVA, PHOTO BY ARYA NASIKKAR

UPDATE: This morning’s bomb threat was determined to be false, said Justin Stockman, public information officer for the Santa Clara County Fire Department. 

Further investigation of the threat — which prompted an hours-long evacuation that involved multiple law enforcement agencies and first responders — will actively continue off campus. Students are now permitted to retrieve their bikes and cars, but backpacks and belongings will remain on campus until Monday morning with the exception of emergency items, such as house keys and medications. 

The weekend has been deemed homework-free, and Mon. Oct. 4 will follow the even block schedule.

A bomb threat at Los Altos High this morning prompted an evacuation of the campus and surrounding residences. 

Principal Wynne Satterwhite said the school received an anonymous call at 8:55 a.m. claiming an explosive device was placed on campus.

Law enforcement is currently in the process of searching the campus for explosives using explosive detection, according to Justin Stockman, public information officer for the Santa Clara County Fire Department.

“[The time-frame is] unsure. It will depend whether or not an explosive is found … and then it would be very dependent on how long it takes them to search the campus,” Stockman said, “The campus is large [and] has a lot of complex buildings so we’re working through that.”

Students were instructed to contact their parents and choose between evacuating by foot or remaining at school, although the school is arranging reunification and pick up for students.

“Once this campus is cleared, which will probably take several hours, we will send out an email saying come back and get your bikes and your cars and your skateboards,” Satterwhite said in a school-wide announcement. “You will not be allowed back into classrooms until Monday.”

Students and staff initially evacuated to the football field then relocated to the baseball diamond — presumably to distance as much as possible from the main campus. 

Sonia Lee, public information officer for the City of Los Altos said that some residences in the immediate vicinity of the high school were also evacuated.

The Los Altos Police Department and Los Altos Fire Department were immediately dialed and shortly after arriving at the scene, set up a perimeter. Additional law enforcement jurisdictions, including the Santa Clara County Fire Department, Mountain View Police Department and Palo Alto Police department were also called to the site.

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