What started as a well-intentioned gift, turned into a bomb scare last Monday, June 16, at Mount Si High School. A handmade telephone, meant to be a gift, was mis-identified as an explosive device after the package was opened upside down, exposing a neon green phone chord protruding from the back of the package.
The Snoqualmie Valley School District Web site also reported that the telephone emitted an “unfamiliar sound,” which prompted further precautionary action.
The scare provided the district with an opportunity to use its emergency phone system and has already spurred discussion on a revised policy for personal deliveries to the school office.
“This week we’re pulling together everyone who was involved for a debriefing,” said Carolyn Malcolm, the spokeswoman for the school district. As a result of the incident, the district Web site reports that Mount Si “will continue to fine-tune its emergency procedures based on lessons learned from (the bomb scare) experience.”
“This experience provided us with some valuable lessons,” Malcolm added.
Area schools may partner to offer each other assistance during emergency situations in the future.
Last March, during the bomb scare at Snoqualmie Middle School, students walked to Mount Si High School and remained in the gymnasium during the evacuation. The high school gym and stadium are able to hold a large number of people and offer shelter, making them ideal evacuation sites, said Malcolm.
A press release from the city of Snoqualmie sent last Tuesday confirmed that “the box which had been opened by school staff apparently was upside down, and contained the handmade telephone which resembled an explosive device.”
Snoqualmie police reviewed surveillance video from the school’s front office to identify the parcel’s owner, who turned out to be a 16-year-old boy who attends Mount Si. The gift’s recipient, a female student, confirmed that she is friends with the boy who delivered the parcel.
Confusion surrounding the origin of the gift occurred because it was delivered on Friday, June 13; however, the recipient was absent until Monday when she received notice of the package.
After speaking with the boy, who was out of town during the scare, officers determined that there was no malicious intent with the present, just a friendly gesture, and no charges will be filed, according to the district’s statement. Officials described the gift as “an innocent gesture with no intent to cause harm.”