published Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Threatening note prompts lockdown at Chattanooga Christian School

  • photo
    Emergency personnel use a K9 unit to check the campus of Chattanooga Christian School after a bomb threat was reported early Tuesday afternoon.
    Staff Photo by Dan Henry

A note found at Chattanooga Christian School resulted in a school lockdown Tuesday afternoon while police searched the campus for a possible bomb. Nothing was found.

Chattanooga police cruisers blocked the entrance to the school at 3354 Charger Drive, off South Broad Street, from around noon until 2 p.m.

The school was locked down, with no one leaving or entering, while police scoured the campus looking for anything suspicious.

Chattanooga Police Department officials confirmed that officers were at the school Tuesday but declined to comment on why officers were there.

Chattanooga Christian School President Chad Dirkse said the search of the school followed the discovery of a note indicating a bomb. He said Chattanooga police searched the school but found nothing suspicious.

"We took the threat seriously," Dirkse said. "Police cleared one building at a time. The search was complete in two hours."

Dirkse said parents were kept informed of the situation through an automated response system that sends e-mails, text and voice messages. The first message was sent at 12:20 p.m. alerting parents that police were on the scene and children were safe.

Subsequent messages told parents that the campus was closed and that children could not be picked up.

One message read, "Student safety is the first priority. We will keep you informed."

Dirkse said parents were supportive and understanding.

At around 2 p.m. police officials said officers were preparing to leave the school.

Dirkse said the campus was reopened and classes resumed at around 2 p.m.

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