UPDATE, 2 p.m.: All affected school buildings have been cleared.
In an e-mail message to The Dagger at approximately 2 p.m., Kranefeld wrote that all affected school buildings had been cleared by law enforcement and that students had been safely returned to classrooms.
Kranefeld declined to provide further details about the nature of the suspicious calls, citing the ongoing investigation, but did provide information on the timing of the calls and subsequent response from HCPS and from law enforcement:
The calls came in this order:
Bel Air High: 11:10 a.m.
Fallston High and Southampton Middle: 11:22 a.m.
Patterson Mill and Bel Air Middle: 11:34 a.m.
* all times are approximate.
Our Critical Incident Plan was followed and all schools were either placed on a lockdown or evacuated. At this time, all buildings have been cleared by law enforcement and students have returned safely to their classrooms.
Law enforcement is conducting an investigation as to the origin of the calls. As the suspicious incident involved multiple schools in a variety of jurisdictions, the investigation is being conducted in partnership between the Sheriff’s Office and other allied law enforcement agencies.
Here is the AlertNow message that went out to Bel Air Middle and High, Patterson Mill Middle/High, Southampton Middle, and Fallston High.
This is Teri Kranefeld for Harford County Public Schools with an important message. The following schools received suspicious calls today in their front offices: Bel Air Middle and High, Fallston High, Patterson Mill Middle/High and Southampton Middle. All schools received the same call and all schools were immediately evacuated or placed on lockdown as a precaution. Law enforcement is wrapping up the investigating at this time and reports that all buildings will be cleared and students returned safely to class shortly. Any further updates will be reported through this phone system. Thank you for your time and attention.
Five HCPS schools were either put on lock-down or evacuated students today following receipt of the same “suspicious call” to their front offices, according to Teri Kranefeld, HCPS manager of communications. The calls were made to Bel Air HS, Bel Air MS, Fallston HS, Patterson Mill Middle/High School and Southampton Middle Schools. Kranefeld said in a warning call to parents at about 1 p.m. today that the schools were immediately evacuated or placed on lockdown as a precaution following the calls and that law enforcement was wrapping up the investigation and the buildings would soon be “cleared” and students would be returned to their buildings.