Threat Results in Friday Evacuation of Pottsgrove School

UPPER POTTSGROVE PA – A bomb threat Friday afternoon (May 6, 2022) at Pottsgrove Middle School on North Hanover Street prompted Pottsgrove School District administrators to evacuate that building and transport its students and staff by buses about 2 miles away to its high school on Kauffman Road, district Superintendent Dr. David Finnerty announced.

Police in Upper Pottsgrove Township, where the middle school is located, are continuing “an active investigation” of the incident, he added, with which the district is “cooperating.”

Middle school students stayed at the high school “for the remainder of the day,” Finnerty wrote on the district Facebook page, and then were dismissed “to their normally assigned buses.”

High school students were dismissed from their building Friday at 2:17 p.m., as usually scheduled, Finnerty wrote in a separate message. Buses then returned from their those runs to transport the middle school students home. Parents who wanted to pick up middle school students themselves were allowed to do so at about 2:30 p.m., “after high school parents clear(ed) the parking lot located in the circle off Kauffman Road,” he noted.

Because all middle school student belongings had been left behind at the evacuated building, the superintendent added, they were unable to recover them immediately after dismissal. The district made arrangements to re-open the middle school Friday evening from 5-7 p.m. for families to stop by and retrieve their items from lockers. Entrance to the building was available from its west side second-floor doors.

However, materials abandoned in classrooms as the evacuation proceeded would not be available until school resumed Monday (May 9), Finnerty stated. Additionally, a “Glow Party” dance event for grades 5, 6, and 7, originally scheduled for Friday from 7-8:30 p.m., was “postponed to a time and date to be determined”

Finnerty and the district relied on e-mails, texts, and internal messaging to ensure families were notified and kept abreast of developments. Some anxious parents published concerns on social media platforms that initial information released to them was either too vague or not received. Others, however, claimed they understood the urgency of the moment and indicated they were satisfied with the district’s reaction.

Several parents also reported their children were frightened by the incident. Others stated their belief that teachers had done a good job in calming students and reducing fears.

“We thank you for your patience and understanding during these types of events,” Finnerty told parents and others involved. “Please reinforce with your sons and daughters that we will always err on the side of caution in instances like this,” he wrote, and expressed his appreciation for the “cooperation and patience of our parents, staff, and transportation staff.”

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