Students were dismissed from the 3200 Jaguar Run school at the usual time of 2:03 p.m., according to Tracy Unified School District spokeswoman Jessica Cardoza, after a search of the campus found “no explosive devices of any type.”
Though all Monday after-school activities except soccer practice were canceled, school will resume as usual at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 19, Cardoza said.
Students had been evacuated to the school’s football stadium bleachers because of the bomb threat discovered in a boys locker room around 8:30 a.m., Cardoza said.
She did not release details about the message, but said it was posted some time between 7 a.m. and its discovery by students in a weight-lifting class who were using the locker room.
Three other bomb threats were made against Kimball and Tracy high schools on Wednesday, March 13, and Thursday, March 14.
Cardoza said on Monday that school officials and bomb-sniffing dogs checked the Kimball campus between 5 and 7 a.m. on Monday “as a precaution.”
“We wanted to be proactive,” she said. “We were trying to get ahead of the game.”
District policy dictates that bomb-sniffing dogs are used to sweep a school where a bomb threat is made. Cardoza said the district has a contract with the Modesto-based service, Kontraband Intradiction and Detection Services Inc.
Students who were evacuated to the bleachers at Don Nicholson Stadium were provided food and water while they waited for the regular dismissal time of 2:03 p.m., or for a legal guardian to physically sign for their release at the football field.
Parents received an email from the district 8:55 a.m. stating that the district is taking the threat seriously, but it wasn’t believed to be “credible.”
Cardoza called Monday’s threat a “copycat” of the bomb threats made last week.
“It seems to be copycatting the idea,” she said. “Making threats to schools seems to be the vogue thing to do right now.”
Students at Tracy High were evacuated to Lincoln Park on Wednesday around 2:05 p.m. when bomb threats were found on the walls of two boys bathrooms.
The following day, students at Kimball were evacuated to the football stands just before 1:30 p.m. following a phone call that there was a bomb in the school.
Nearly two hours later, a second bomb threat was found in a bathroom at Tracy High, and remaining staff and students were forced to leave campus.
Two Tracy High students were arrested around 2:30 p.m. Thursday while in class for their alleged roles in the threat at the school on Wednesday, according to Tracy police.
They are each expected to be charged with making terrorist threats and making a bomb threat — both felonies — and a misdemeanor charge of disrupting school.
Cardoza said the students found responsible for making bomb threats would be subject to expulsion, and will be prosecuted.
As of Monday morning, no one had been named in connection with the Kimball incidents.
“It’s incredibly frustrating,” Cardoza said. “We hope students get frustrated and will come forward (with suspects).”
Kimball High junior Katalina Rodriguez was signed out for the day at 11 a.m. by her mother.
“I personally think it’s a joke, but it’s not funny,” the 17-year-old said. “I think the students should just stop … It’s kind of ridiculous.”
Her mother, Carolina Rodriguez, waited more than an hour and a half to sign out Katalina, while holding her 1-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. She also made a special trip to pick up her daughter during Thursday’s scare.
“Waiting two hours for your kid is not fast enough,” she said. “Here I am with two kids, and it just takes a toll on you. You want to believe it’s not real, but what if it is? I just want it to be over.”
Ken Allen, whose son is a junior at Kimball, said he was concerned about parents and students having to wait so close to the campus for such an extended time.
“It definitely interrupts my day, but I’m not complaining about that,” Allen said. “I just think that if there were truly a bomb here, we’d be blown to smithereens waiting.”
Cardoza said school officials have reviewed evacuation procedures at Kimball and were not concerned about sending students to the same place twice in a row.
“We did look over the plan this morning,” she said. “There are a number of places students can be evacuated to on and off campus.”
Cardoza added that the stadium was cleared before students were sent there.
“We did a very thorough visual check,” she said. “We looked to make sure there was nothing there — not even a water bottle.”
TUSD officials discussed checking West and Tracy high schools before school started on Monday, according to Cardoza, but decided to start with Kimball because it evacuated most recently due to the threat on Thursday.
• Contact Jon Mendelson at 835-3030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.