By Ashley Han and Kellen Browning,
UPDATE: Davis High vice principal Tom McHale sent an email around 2 p.m. reassuring DHS staff that “We have received an “all clear” message regarding the incident at North Davis Elementary. Students are returning to their classes at NDE. We will proceed with the normal conclusion of our school day.”
North Davis Elementary received a bomb threat at approximately 11:10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 15, prompting police to evacuate the school, according to an email sent to parents from the school district. The incident caused Davis High vice principal Tom McHale to make an announcement over the intercom around 11:45 a.m. telling teachers to check their emails for more information.
Teachers were not supposed to share the information with their students, which prompted speculation from David Achimore’s Yearbook class, according to senior Maxine Zhao.
“[We asked] ‘What’s going on?’ [Achimore] was like, ‘I can’t tell you what it says but you have to turn off your phones, put them away, don’t touch them at all,’ ” Zhao said. “I was like ‘Last time this happened they were scared a bomb would go off because of our phones,’ and people were like ‘Oh my god, I’m terrified, a bomb’s going to go off.’ ”
Some classes, however, had no idea what was going on.
Jacob Fernandez was substituting for history teacher Michael Kanna’s 5th period AP US History class, and was not able to access the relevant information about the bomb threat other teachers received via email.
“There was a problem since I’m not a regular employee here at the high school,” Fernandez said. “[Not being able to access the email was] a big safety concern. Not being able to [be notified about] what’s happening, what’s going on and everything…so that kinda was a down side.”
“Most of the students were able to access their own emails, and then a lot of their parents were able to text them and everything,” Fernandez added. Because he and the students did not know what was happening, they decided to lock the door and turn off the lights just to be safe.
The email sent to DHS teachers instructed them to keep students off of their phones, but most students were in contact with their parents.
“My mom texted me, ‘Are you ok?'” junior Makenna Rubinstein said.
At approximately 12:00 p.m., McHale made another announcement, telling students that they would be able to leave campus normally for lunch and that classes would resume 7th period.
“Please move toward the west, away from Vets Memorial, North Davis Elementary and the park. You’ll have access to your car if you’re parked in the Vets Memorial Parking lot,” McHale said.