Update: Kimball High evacuated again for bomb threat
by Jon Mendelson
Mar 18, 2013 | 10932 views | 41 41 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Parents and legal guardians of Kimball High School students wait in line to pick up students from the school's football stadium after a Monday, March 18, evacuation of the campus because of a bomb threat. Courtesy of Jon Healy
Parents and legal guardians of Kimball High School students wait in line to pick up students from the school's football stadium after a Monday, March 18, evacuation of the campus because of a bomb threat. Courtesy of Jon Healy
slideshow
Bomb-sniffing dogs cleared the Kimball High School campus at 2 p.m. Monday, March 18, following the school’s second bomb threat in three school days.

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 jmendelson@tracypress.com.

Comments
(41)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Letzbhonest
|
March 20, 2013
@shelly13 why don't you re-read the article..... No where does it say "found at 8:30", it states "found around 8:30" also they made a very vague statement "7am until discovered....." that's their way of covering their bases.... Point blank you shouldn't believe everything the media reports, things can be printed incorrectly, things maybe out of context...and most importantly police may not release certain info as not to comprise case....saywhat2 is correct when they state it's about the money... When students are not at school the school loses money...after last weeks incident you would think that our school would have a better evacuation plan!..........Bottom line we have been left in the dark either way the lack of certain information is unacceptable.... Whether they knew prior to school starting or not... We were never notified that the campus was not 100% clear upon dropping my child off at school. Unacceptable! Why do I have to rely on the media to get information that is pertinent to my child's well being and safety! Educated yourself on all the articles funny how today the press claims that the kids were evacuated at 8:30am.... If that's the case saywhat2 is right again!
shelly13
|
March 20, 2013
Well so sorry i did not distinguish between around and at. My guess based on the information i have gotten through media, staff and my own child is that it was found more near to 8:30 than before. My child was on the way to the stadium at "about" 8:50. I doubt they would have waited that long to evacuate if it eas found before 8:30. could i be wrong? Sure. But you could be wrong too:)
shelly13
|
March 20, 2013
Ps. I think the email and or phone call i got afterwards said the school was clear. I agree they could handle some things better. But this is new territory for eveeyone. Im going to give them a C . Lol
Letzbhonest
|
March 22, 2013
@shelly13 that was my point exactly... The way things are written or presented by the media can and will be misconstrued, therefore you should not have been so quick to jump on someone giving their opinion on how they felt. As a community we need to work together in order to maintain the quality of life where we live, work and raise our children. I still stand firm in my believes of how poorly things have been handled. Even more so after the Kimball meeting, I am very aware of the importance of information being withheld as not to comprise any investigation, yet a parent and Tracy resident walking away from the meeting I have many more questions than before I had gone. I am confident that law enforcement is doing their due diligence but I feel the school has let us down. I'm aware that this is new for all of us, my question still is after last week's incident is how can this be going on our campus yet THS has brought resolution in theirs? Is it better technology they have (surveillance), are the principals and staff more proactive and aware of their campus and students? The next day THS had students in custody after their occurrence, yet for us it's been on going since 3/11. Why?
Letzbhonest
|
March 22, 2013
@shelly13 i have no qualms with you, you're just another person with an opinion, my issues are with the school... I'm not directing my frustration towards you, it is solely towards the handling of the events and the quick defense of the mishandling of things that have taken place. The school tried to pacify with the meeting... It was an eye opener in the big holes that are there but I want to know..... With all the technology at our disposal how they have not been able to trace a phone call? How the haven't been able to identify through surveillance? It makes you wonder.... Like I said I am very aware of the importance of withholding certain information as not to compromise the investigation, but I would like to know was it a note, writing on the wall, social media, a phone...all or none of the above..... If the media can report it... The school has a duty to clarify it for us! With that being said if those things have taken place then they have a few different opportunities in identify the culprit or culprits. It puts doubt as to what is true and what is actually being done. Another question...I've heard they've identified suspects... Why haven't they told us? And if so what are they waiting for? I don't know what to believe and will never take any chances when it comes to my children. The truth will eventually come out, we live in a very small town, that's why I live here with my family because it's a small town where you do know your neighbors, it's unfortunate that as safe as I feel in Tracy... I'm not 100% confident in sending my child to KHS while I commute to work everyday! As a parent that's a very hard thing to accept dropping my kids off to school each day! Thank God THS has PROVEN that theirs was not an actual threat, and has the students in custody... until I get proof of the same here at KHS I will be on high alert...I pray that is our outcome as well, until then I didn't need KHS to tell me all is okay. How do they know all is okay? How do they know? Do they have suspects? A lead? Anything that will let me know it's okay! Nothing, except for campus is clear and we are safe! Tell you have someone in your sites then I'll consider being okay?
shelly13
|
March 22, 2013
I took into account more than the media in making my assumption, however it was still an assumption. So I apologize.

The reason THS caught their culprits was because they were seen on camera. According to the guy fixing the cameras at TLC, they had to fix Kimball's cameras also. So....Kimball's cameras were not working at the time. So lets make sure if they break, they get fixed right away from now on! Thats a start:0
1219tracy
|
March 20, 2013
http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_22826760/police-students-may-be-behind-string-tracy-school

Here's the link
mtrew
|
March 20, 2013
Two teens identified in Kimball High threats. Info via Bay Area News Group.
backinblack
|
March 20, 2013
Monarch, I don't have children so my only dog in this fight is wanting to see the perpetrators of the threats prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If, as it appears may be possible in the case with the two already arrested, bring terrorism charges.

As to, it only takes once, although common sense comes into play it's more about loss mitigation. Unless you have some mental power or training the rest of us including police & school officials do not possess, how do you determine if a bomb threat is credible without an evacuation? Would you prefer they search the buildings while leaving the kids inside where they can get blown up if indeed there is a bomb?

No one is suggesting cowering at home but if you were walking down the street and come upon a tree which appears to be ready to fall, would you walk under it or stay clear? You may think, it will never happen to me, there's no way that tree's going to fall at this exact moment in time, whereas I would think about mitigating my chances of getting injured by walking far enough away to avoid the tree just in case it picks that exact moment in time to go down. It only takes once.
Monarch76
|
March 21, 2013
Still no bomb! I guess I was right. I am going out on a limb because my common sense crystal ball says there will be no bomb at KHS now or ever.
Lolette
|
March 20, 2013
I agree that there should be a better and efficient way of releasing the kids. I understand that it's the safest way they know how but it's unacceptable to have to wait 2 hrs to pick up your child. I was in line for over 2hrs and when I finally got my son he was so dehydrated that he went home with a headache and vomitted after he had some water. There was a line for them to even use the bathroom and get a drink.

I also want to comment about the road construction that has been going on for 3 yrs now and I see no end to it. It'll probably be done when my son is out of Kimball.

Kimball also has the worst car line in all of the High Schools here in Tracy. No one seem to get how a car line works and ppl seem to not care if there are cars behind them and that they need to drive forward and not stop anywhere they feel like.
pinkwillow
|
March 20, 2013
So your son was outside for two hours in 60-70 degree weather and had a headache and vomited because of that exposure? I call BS. And if its true you need to get your little couch potato off his ass, stop sitting in front of a tv all day and start exercising. Was he to lazy to stand in line for water?
shelly13
|
March 20, 2013
pinkwillow, that was extremely rude. I dont remember the exact temp but it definitely felt warmer than it said. We quickly jumped from very cold weather to very warm and had no chance to acclimate. In fact a pregnant teacher had to have EMS come help her. Different people can be more sensitive to hot and or cold weather. I am. Many kids were out there for much longer than two hours.

Lolette, I hope your son is feeling better! I hope we never have to go through that again!
1219tracy
|
March 19, 2013
The kids were not allowed to take their backpacks to the stadium if they were in the N Building(sub gym) where the note said the bomb was. Do the cameras work? How many kids would have been in the locker room between 7 and 8:30 am? They should be able to narrow down who was there. Let's hope it stops. Is anyone going to the meeting tomorrow?
Icare!
|
March 19, 2013
Tracy Press, why nothing on the shooting in Redbridge late Friday nite or early Sat. a.m. Other papers seem to have it???
Icare!
|
March 19, 2013
Tracy Press, why nothing on the shooting in Redbridge late Friday nite or early Sat. a.m. Other papers seem to have it???
motherto5
|
March 19, 2013
I have read a couple of blogs here and i have to agree with some, are they waiting to see what the protocal is and then take charge...I defenitly dont want my child in thye staduim once again.Specially when they did a visual check ONLY. Who knows if thats were it can happen.After all if its a student, he is being asked to grab there things and go.what if someone is carrying something with them like a backpack. Another thing that shared my same thought..a staff member.Why not??they can get away with it..for a while.And I am one who thinks they are waiting for our guard to come down. For everybody to join that bandwagon that its not credible..Kinda weird that the school was checked between 5 to 7 am by dogs,police officers and staff to get ahead of the game but found nothing,then we have kids go in and they find a note with the threat.And here we are left to trust that they are doing there jobs and giving the all clear.Who had access.I am at the point of fustration now.My child will also stay home.

One more thing I would like to add;Teachers who in there right mind would be testing right now. Are kids are scared,fustrated,anxious,they are in no mind frame for it.Seriously!!!
shelly13
|
March 19, 2013
Yes, what is going on with Lammers? I have not seen anyone working in a while. Can we get that done please!!!!
Mom#1
|
March 19, 2013
They said it was going to be open during Thanksgiving week. Well that came and gone and still that road is a mess. God forbid something major happens at that school and this road is a hazard, not safe for major evacuation. I called the City months ago and still waiting for a response. On Thursday i asked the cop if i can make a U turn at light his response, "do whatever you want just be safe" I guess they know that street is a mess.
Mom#1
|
March 19, 2013
@saywhat2 I thought the same thing. If they knew before school started why not tell everyone at parking lot to go back. Arents work fo they not get that. they had just dropped off their kid Then 30 min or so school is being evacuated.. BS! It's ridiculous! I guess they love the chaos.. The school needs to seriously DEMAND that lammers be done once and for all.
shelly13
|
March 19, 2013
The article says that the threat was found at 8:30. School starts at 8:30. Kids are in their seats. Did you guys not read the article?
xkimkeatingx
|
March 19, 2013
Somebody is boasting about this somewhere. Perhaps a reward for information would encourage someone to come forward. I haven't heard anything about a reward being offered, and its worth a try.

Monarch76
|
March 18, 2013
Many organizations and businesses receive bomb threats everyday in our society. Sick people seem to get their jollies watching others jump at their command. The key to these current threats is they are unsubstantiated, unverified, and they lack any type of credibility. Businesses, courthouses, airports, etc. do not shutdown for the day every time they receive a threat of this nature. They check the premises for suspicious items and packages and go from there. If nothing is found, the workday proceeds uninterrupted. If a possible threat is identified, we move onto the next step. Parents and administrators need to use some common sense here. If a verified threat surfaces, move ahead with a safety evacuation. If not, let the learning continue without interruption. Can anyone identify when the last school bombing occurred? I believe it was during the civil rights era.
shelly13
|
March 18, 2013
Who do you suggest make that call? I dont think anyone at the school actually claims to be a credible threat expert. Its a tough situation. But Im still going with better safe than sorry.
saywhat2
|
March 18, 2013
The school has had more than bomb threats...And 3 were caught within 24 hrs at Tracy High. Common sense it's foolish kids. Kimball has been on High alert for 6 days now. It keeps happening and we have no one arrested...Civil rights era, ok ?! I'm thinking you don't have a kid here to worry about or a job to leave and miss work. I'll just keep my kid home until things are figured out. Sadly I think the school is worried about money. The threat today according to the news came in before school started. So as people drove in they should of had someone circling them out. Instead right after 1st period started "roll call" The sent them to stadium. It's all about the $$$ Tracy high did the same thing last Friday morning but they went back to class at some point.
backinblack
|
March 18, 2013
Monarch76, What if the all clear is given and it turns out an explosive device was overlooked, who's going to be held liable if people get blown to bits when the device goes boom?

Maybe you should display some common sense and realize we live in a litigation happy society where people such as doctors, teachers, & law enforcement personnel are lawsuits waiting to happen when something goes awry in their decisions or actions.

Here's a little saying we have in my profession, all it takes is once.
shelly13
|
March 19, 2013
Tracy High caught those students by looking at the camera footage. Do you know if Kimball's cameras are working? I hope so but I do not know. Common sense it is foolish kids...probably. A friend of mine mentioned maybe a disgruntled employee? Many people are not fond of the principal. That's a thought. I'm sure they could get away with it for a while because they know the first suspects would be the kids. Either way they have to treat it as serious. God forbid someone is "grooming" the school and checking out the procedures for a real strike. Are you willing to take that chance? I'm not!
MichaelMCK
|
March 19, 2013
We were told that someone tagged the boys locker room with the threat between 0 period and 1st period, and it wasn't discovered until 1st period started, so that's part of the reason why we weren't turned away from school in the morning. And no, security cameras are not in the locker rooms for obvious reasons.
Monarch76
|
March 19, 2013
backinblack, I am aware we live in a civil litigation society but there is no sure fire method to protect yourself from a lawsuit. Stopping the school day because some upset brat decides to scribble a non credible threat on a bathroom wall does not show common sense. "It only takes once," then don't send your kids to school. Homeschooling is always an option. BTW, do not let them go to the mall, the movies, the grocery store, or anywhere else in public where they have a much high chance of experiencing random violence.
SpikeVFR
|
March 20, 2013
Last school bombing, the civil rights era? Wrong, the last one that I can say with certainty was Columbine, where they set up several pipe and LP gas tank bombs some of which worked, several of which did not. At least one of the other shootings had pipe bombs involved, I just can't remember which one.
shelly13
|
March 20, 2013
Monarch, do your kids go to school here? I don't know the solution. Common sense does tell us the threat is probably not credible. I agree. But is common sense 100% accurate? Nope. Sorry I am not willing to take that chance with my or any one else's child. Better systems need to be put in place to deal with this issue. More cameras (Kimball weren't working but supposedly have been fixed now). More severe punishments for kids who do this. These kids need to know the consequences and be afraid of those consequences.

As for your reply to not sending your kids to school, the movies, mall grocery store. If they had a threat, credible or not at that time, I would not send them there. We are talking about when there is a threat. You are comparing apples to oranges.
mtrew
|
March 18, 2013
Students were let out at the usual dismissal time of 2:03? Nope, only the students whose parents were not able to come pick them up. My kids were home by 9:45. Unfortunately for other parents they had to wait for hours again. The poor kids who were left had to wait at the stadium from 9am to 2pm. That's terrible!
saywhat2
|
March 18, 2013
Not true! Was there by 9:30am and stood in line for 2hrs. and 15 mins. to sign out my kids! They really need to figure out a better plan esp. after last week. This is NOT ok! Of course I'm glad all the kids are safe.
saywhat2
|
March 18, 2013
Oops I see you said others did have to stand in line forever and your right it is terrible and awful for the kids. All these events have taken a toll on everyone :(
doors17
|
March 18, 2013
Meet the new week. Same as the old week.
108MW
|
March 18, 2013
Instead of the school principal leaving a recorded message telling me the school is safe, I begin to wonder where the H E double hockey sticks the Tracy Police Chief is??? Little info from LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES would be the first thing that the TPD should be concerned with after evacuating these kids for the THIRD time! I'm have no confidence in paper pushers at TUSD planning any kind of well thought out terrorism safety plan.
soccermom73
|
March 18, 2013
It's a good thing that TPD isn't giving out a lot of information, because that you would help out those that are responsible. Publicly released statements about the exact processes of TPD's investigation would only allow the culprits an opportunity to compromise any ground that has made against them. Think before you start accusing people you twit.
108MW
|
March 18, 2013
Ohhhhhhh, SOMEBODY works for TUSD. Listen mud slinger. Where in my post did I ever request the "exact process" of the TPD's plan? My exact words were "little info" as in the Tracy Police Chief coming out to tell us the school is safe, not the SCHOOL PRINCIPAL. Please inform all of us what "accusations" were made.

SOMEBODY needs to get back in their minivan and march out to the soccer field so they can scream at the kids while they PMS. Whew lady.
lovetracy
|
March 18, 2013
this is great, I love it when the school is proactive. During there mandatory state testing the kids are creating these problems and this school day shouldn't even count they should extend the school year for every day that is abused in this manner.
jdomke1
|
March 18, 2013
All this does is penalize the 99.99% of kids that aren't involved in this, including my two kids there.
Pandabear19
|
March 19, 2013
They are prolonging the school days.

I think Ken Allen has a point about how close they are to the school when they have been evacuated.

You really can't blame the school for these threats. They are doing the best they can, and I don't blame them for thinking about money too. They are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Because if they don't think about money now, someone will still be complaining when their child doesn't have a new History book next year due to lack of funds.

I know it's a tough matter but I think what everyone should be doing is talking to their children. Not interrogating, just talking, and someone is bound to come up with some information. It's highschool not the Navy SEALS.



We encourage readers to share online comments in this forum, but please keep them respectful and constructive. This is not a space for personal attacks, libelous statements, profanity or racist slurs. Comments that stray from the topic of the story or are found to contain abusive language are subject to removal at the Press’ discretion, and the writer responsible will be subject to being blocked from making further comments and have their past comments deleted. Readers may report inappropriate comments by e-mailing the editor at tpnews@tracypress.com.