PITTSBURGH – A student’s innocent show and tell turned into an evacuation and lockdown at two other schools Thursday morning.
Police told WPXI a third-grade student brought an old, inactive hand grenade to West Liberty K-5 school in Pittsburgh’s Brookline neighborhood and another student saw the grenade and reported it to a teacher, who relayed the information to school officials.
West Liberty was evacuated just before 10 a.m. as the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Bomb Squad analyzed the situation and school officials alerted parents via an automated message, according to the news site.
“Students and staff at Pittsburgh West Liberty has been evacuated to Pittsburgh South Brook as City Police respond to what appears to be a non-activated grenade,” Pittsburgh Public Schools posted to its Facebook page. “Both Pittsburgh Sough Brook and Pittsburgh Pioneer are on lockdown. Lockdown means that no one is permitted in or out of the facility. As this is an active police scene parents are advised not to come to the school as no one will be admitted.”
A short time later the district posted that “The non-active grenade has been removed by the City’s Bomb Squad. City Police are now completing a sweep of the facility with the canine as is standard procedure.”
Minutes later, around 10:35 a.m., police lifted the lockdowns and students returned to class as normal, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
“We were able to explain to the child that it was a dangerous object,” West Liberty principal Deonne Arrington told WXPI, adding that the student will receive an unspecified punishment. “He shared with us that it was an old relic; something from a previous war.”
Arrington also commended the teaching staff for a smooth evacuation.
“The teachers were very fast acting,” she said. “We have a crisis plan in place at school. Immediately they understood the protocol.”
Many parents were understandably freaked out online.
“That’s crazy. Dogs are searching the school,” Brenda Burns posted to Facebook. “My daughter goes to Pioneer. Too close for comfort.”
“I wonder why my daughter is anxious about going to school and hates it,” Jennifer Black posted.
“Who has gernades lying around the house! These poor kids have to be scared,” Monica Walker added.