LOWER POTTSGROVE – The quiet ending to Monday morning’s (Jan. 22, 2018) real-life local drama, sparked by the appearance of what was later determined to be an “inert” hand grenade brought by a student into Lower Pottsgrove Elementary School, “shows that the plans in place for such an event do work,” according to a Lower Pottsgrove Police Department report issued the same day.
Ultimately, students were “allowed back to their classes, and the rest of the normal school day resumed,” the report noted.
Police ended their investigation of the Pottsgrove School District incident Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 23), and closed the case without filing charges, Police Chief Michael Foltz said. The student involved, a juvenile, will not be publicly identified, the department indicated earlier.
The Post published an initial story and updates about the incident; they can be found here.
During a 48-minute period Monday – between 9:07 a.m., when what police initially referred to as the “suspicious device” was spotted by “several students and the classroom teacher,” and 9:55 a.m., when an all-clear signal was given – the report recounted that:
- School Principal Dr. Yolanda Williams was “immediately notified;”
- Officials at the Buchert Road school building then followed their own “proper procedures of notifications;”
- Police officers arrived at the school within two minutes, by 9:09 a.m.;
- Students and staff were asked to move to the lower level of the school, and sheltered in place in its cafeteria and gymnasium;
- School buses were notified “in case an evacuation was needed;”
- The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad responded to the department’s 9:20 a.m. call “to evaluate the device and handle it safely.” Its team arrived at 9:45 a.m.;
- The bomb squad advised that the location where students and staff were sheltered was safe “at this time;”
- Bomb experts determined the inert “grenade that is routinely sold at gun shows … was not a danger to any students or staff at any time;” and
- At 9:55 a.m., those sheltered were told they could return to classes.
“If this had been a real device, all of the actions taken and procedures followed would have kept the students and staff safe,” the report stated.
The department praised the sheriff’s office for its “quick response, and resolving the incident quickly.”
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