Parent: "It's terror, the not knowing and just panic."


By Crandall Sims

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- It's a panic no parent wants to face, your child's school evacuated because of a bomb threat and when you arrive to pick them up they are nowhere to be found. But, Kristi Rowe lived that reality Monday afternoon.

Rowe's 16 year old son's school, White Knoll High, was evacuated and classes dismissed. But, when Rowe arrived to pick up her son he wasn't there.

"Panic," says Rowe.

We were there as she called to try and find him. While it was only minutes before she learned he left school with a friend, Rowe tells us those moments were hard.

"It's terror, I mean you just, it's not knowing and just panic," says Rowe

District officials tells ABC Columbia News, the school was evacuated and classes dismissed out of an abundance of caution especially considering the recent events in Boston.

Those who drive were told to leave the school immediately. Bus riders boarded the bus and were taken home, while car riders were taken across the street to Life Springs Church.

"A lot of them were on their phones probably talking to their parents and trying to get their rides to come and pick them up," says Ketsie Merizalde, Adminstrative Assistant at Life Springs Church.

According to Mary Beth Hill of the Lexington County School District, parents were notified via telephone call, but Rowe tells us she never got the call. So we took her concern to Hill.

"We do know that they get it and in general when they don't get it, it means that a parent has changed a phone number at the school and they forget to change it in the school messenger system," says Mary Beth Hill, Spokesperson for the Lexington County School District

In the end, all students were safe including Rowe's son. In all, district officials say considering more than 1,800 students go to school at White Knoll High School, today's evacuation went smoothly.

Officials also tell us there is reason to believe today's threat was merely a prank.
Current: 56°
High: 56°
Low: 52°
Wind: 7 MPH
Pressure: 30.06
Humidity: 84 %

What's on WOLOTV Full Schedule