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Bomb threat empties Homestead school

Michael DiVittorio
| Thursday, May 2, 2013, 3:51 a.m.

Propel Homestead was evacuated on Wednesday afternoon when a bomb threat was found scribbled on a boys restroom wall.

No weapons or devices were found during a search by law enforcement that began at about 12:37 p.m., Homestead police Cpl. Stephen Adams said.

The principal contacted police when notified of the threat, and the building quickly was evacuated.

“The students were safely escorted to the Frick playground across the street by teachers and other school staff,” said Angela Gaitinella, Propel Schools' marketing and community relations coordinator. “Our parents were notified when we were evacuated as well as when the students were safely back in the classroom.”

Students and staff were allowed back into the charter school along E. Tenth Avenue around 1:30 p.m.

Adams said authorities take all threats seriously, even when “it's a child's scribbling.”

“The safety of our students and staff is our number one priority at all of our Propel schools,” Gaitinella said.

Whitaker, West Homestead and an Allegheny County deputy sheriff with a bomb sniffing dog also responded to the call.

Police confiscated a bookbag with a small amount of marijuana. Adams said police are investigating.

Wednesday's bomb threat was not the first this school year. Adams said a threat last week remains under investigation. Nothing dangerous was found.

Adams said the threats do not appear to be related.

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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