Bomb Threat Closes East Pasadena Elementary School

Bomb Threat Closes Willard Elementary SchoolBomb Threat Closes Willard Elementary SchoolBomb Threat Closes Willard Elementary SchoolBomb Threat Closes Willard Elementary SchoolBomb Threat Closes Willard Elementary SchoolBomb Threat Closes Willard Elementary SchoolBomb Threat Closes Willard Elementary SchoolBomb Threat Closes Willard Elementary School

Photography by BRANDON VILLALOVOS

4:57 am | May 24, 2016


A phoned bomb threat to Willard Elementary School at about 11:40 a.m. Monday led to an immediate school evacuation and early dismissal, but no explosive device was found by authorities.

School resumes normally at the site Tuesday morning, a school official said.

Willard Elementary was on lockdown for about three hours as Pasadena Police and Fire Department personnel secured the campus. A bomb-sniffing dog and canine officer were brought in from Los Angeles International Airport and conducted a safety sweep of the school.

Pasadena Unified official Hilda Ramirez-Horvath said the District had no information as to who made the bomb threat or why.

© OpenStreetMap contributors

Willard Elementary School is situated at 301 Madre Street in between the Pasadena Boys and Girls Club to its west and Wilson Middle School across the street to its east. Most of the children were relocated to those other sites immediately for after school activities, while some children were dismissed for the day at an emergency location.

Officials said that everybody, from students to parents to school officials, behaved calmly and followed police instructions.

“School personnel are trained for emergencies, so they went through the emergency procedures and evacuated the kids to the field, connected with police,” Ramirez-Horvath said. “At that point, they were under instructions from law enforcement and safety personnel. So the priority there is to keep the kids safe. They followed emergency protocols and notified parents. The parents were advised that dismissal would be at a different gate.”

“The important part here is to let the parents know that their kids are being taken care of and that the school’s priority during this time is to keep them calm and orderly for the kids,” Ramirez-Horvath said. “We’re working with law enforcement to try and know what happened. There will be follow-up communication with the parents as to what would happen tomorrow.”

Pasadena police said an investigation into the hoax is continuing and no suspects have yet been identified.