ATHENS, Ala. - Frustration and panic were worn on parent's faces this morning at Athens Middle School. Family members got word just after 9 a.m. that another bomb threat had been made, and many came immediately to take their students home.
— Chris Davis (@ChrisDavisMMJ) February 23, 2016
"Get here in a hurry, there's a bomb threat, so I got here," says Tameka Fears, who was picking up her nieces after she got word of the threat.
The students were initially moved to the school's track.
AMS cleared. Parents may check students out in front office at approx 9:50.
— Athens City Schools (@AthensALSchools) February 23, 2016
They were eventually led back into the gymnasium while the search continued. Around 10 a.m., school leaders and Athens Police determined there was no immediate threat and decided that the school day could continue.
WHNT News 19 was at the school when Principal Melanie Barkley addressed concerned parents there to check out their students. She told family members, using a megaphone, "Everything is safe, so we feel more than confident that your child can stay here and finish the school day. However, if you choose to check your kid out, we will not be opening these doors until they have finished changing classes."
As far as we could see, none of the family members followed Principal Barkley's advice to leave their student in the classroom. "I just want to be in charge of my child, and not the government school system." said Donna White, who was there to pick up her daughter.
Misty Wilson was also in line, and said it wasn't a lack of trust that affected her decision, it was an abundance of caution. "I'm worried about my child. I have a 14-year-old. I'm worried about him being here. I have complete faith in our school system. I have complete faith in Athens Police. I just hate what's going on." she said.
It almost goes without saying, police, school leaders, and especially parents want to see this stop. "This is making me lean towards that home school decision even more," says Wilson.