Appoquinimink School District on lockdown after bomb threat

MIDDLETOWN — All Appoquinimink School District were placed on lockdown Thursday afternoon as police investigated bomb and firearm threats in the community.

By 2:30 p.m., all schools but Middletown High were able to dismiss students on time after district officials received what as a “reassuring update” from Delaware State Police.

A “staged” dismissal was conducted around 2:45 p.m. at MHS, which was described as “bringing buses on campus to load in a staggered fashion in order to allow police to provide tight security.”

Earlier in the day, according to the district, Middletown High “received a threatening call stating that an individual would attempt to bring a pipe bomb onto the campus.” The school immediately went into lockdown status, officials said, and State Police were contacted.

According to the district, police responded and had “a strong … presence in the area around our school.” The situation was described as “fluid” at the time.

Also, the district was informed by State Police “that they received a call about an individual with a rifle in the community and are investigating.”

As the lockdown was ongoing, buses and cars were not allowed to leave or enter the school campuses, officials said.

The district advised that some bus-riding students may arrive home late, including elementary schoolers who are typically picked up after MHS dropoffs.

All afterschool activities at Middletown High were canceled, including sports, clubs and adult education. Activities at other locations were scheduled to be held after State Police cleared up any safety concerns.

In a message to Everett Meredith Middle School families, Principal Nick Hoover asked parents to “Please take this time to review events from today with your student as well as discuss a plan for what you would do as a family if there was an issue you were faced with.

“Planning and preparation are key to dealing with situations like this.”

All afterschool activities were canceled at Meredith, which the principal explained by saying, “We are sorry if this caused any inconvenience but due to the fact that we were cleared for the lockdown a few minutes before dismissal, we had to make a quick decision …”

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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