UPDATE: All Decatur Schools Blocked After Threatening Phone Calls | To decay



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Posted by Dan Whisenhunt
November 27, 2018
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Reader Barbara Palumbo sent this picture of the scene outside the Renfroe Middle School earlier today, November 27.

This story has been updated.

All Decatur schools, including Decatur High and Renfroe Middle School, are closed today, Nov. 27, after schools received threatening phone calls this morning.

A robocall for the parents of the school district said that the blockade will remain in effect until all students are dismissed for the day. The school district also canceled all after class activities and did not allow early check-out.

An employee who answered the phone at the Decatur Police Department said the blockade was a precaution: "To make sure everyone is well."

Several private schools in the region have also been blocked as a precaution, according to parents with children in those schools.

A Police Department spokesman said: "On Tuesday, November 27, 2018, the Decatur Police Department received allegations of a bomb threat against a school and threats of armed violence against two other schools. Working with the Decatur City Schools, a blockade of all schools throughout the system was started as a precaution. Dekalb County Sheriff's Office and Dekalb County Sheriff's Office responded to help. Schools are still blocked while we investigate these threats. There are officers on-site in every school since we became aware of the threats. We found no evidence to substantiate these threats at this time. Officers will remain assigned to each of the schools for the remainder of the day. We will provide an update after the lock is suspended. "

Oakhurst Elementary was one of the schools that received the threat.

An email to parents at the school says, "We received a threat over the phone this morning that a gunman was coming to our school. We always take any threat to our students and employees seriously. Imposition of the law was involved immediately and we placed our school in blockage. Once the threat was deemed unreliable by the police, we resumed our school day. Law enforcement continues its investigation into the threat. "

A letter sent to the parents of Winnona Park Elementary indicated that the school also received a threatening phone call about a gunman who was visiting the school. Glennwood Elementary sent a letter to parents that said, "We received a bomb threat this morning over the phone."

Decatur cops and DeKalb Sheriff County police officers were spotted in the area. Decaturish contributor Cathi Harris said officers searched Glennwood Elementary and that students were briefly evacuated to the Episcopal School of the Holy Trinity Parish.

Glennwood students were released to return to school, Harris reported.

Harris said the sheriff also blocked Avenue Ponce de Leon on Commerce Drive during the search.

Photo by Cathi Harris

City Schools of Decatur authorities were not immediately available for comment, but sent the following message to parents shortly after the lock came into effect.

Your child's safety is our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution after receiving threats in some schools, the CSD went into a system-wide block.

We are actively working with the police department to investigate this situation. Students can not be removed until the lock is lifted. Please do not go to schools because this will interfere with the school's security procedures. The Decatur Police Department sent officers to all schools.

We will continue to submit updates.

Students and teachers from Decatur High and Renfroe Middle sent messages to members to notify them about the blockade.

One parent said they received the following text messages from their student, who attends Decatur High.

From my DHS jr:

10: 48 – We're in a difficult block for some reason

(I asked him if he was in a classroom)

10:55 – Yes. And we're behind those lab benches. I'm not even close to the door. They said it was something out of the building

11:09 – We are now in a soft lock. So we can go up and start the class, but we can not leave class

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that schools in Dunwoody also received threats recently.

"None of these threats was considered credible," the AJC reported.

This is a story in development. Check back for updates.

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