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Misunderstanding leads to search for bomb at Lorraine Elementary School

RCSO: School was cleared by noon

CONYERS — A simple misunderstanding prompted a lockdown of Lorraine Elementary School Friday when authorities feared a bomb threat had been made.

“We do not believe there was an actual bomb threat,” said Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Michael Camp.

The incident occurred sometime around 8:30 a.m. when a fire alarm in the school went off – possibly due to photography equipment being too close to a sensor.

“Once the alarm went off, a student at the school said something to his teacher about his dad and a bomb at the school,” Camp said.

As a result, students were evacuated from the elementary school and taken to nearby Davis Middle School, which was also placed on lockdown, while the Sheriff’s Office responded and did a sweep of the school using a bomb-sniffing dog.

“After further investigation, it was determined that there was never a bomb threat made to Lorraine Elementary,” said Cindy Ball, Community Relations director for Rockdale County Public Schools. “The school evacuated after a fire alarm (Friday) morning, at which time a young student commented on a conversation he thought he overheard outside of school.”

Camp said deputies speaking with the student soon learned that the child had overheard his father, an employee at Rockdale County High School, speaking of a bomb threat at the high school last week.

Camp said students were allowed back in the school sometime around noon Friday.

Conyers Police Department Officer Kim Lucas said the bomb threat at RCHS was discovered Aug. 22 during a pep rally prior to the Rockdale-Heritage High School football game that evening. The vague threat was found written on a bathroom wall, which prompted the CPD to search the school with the assistance of the RCSO and its bomb-sniffing dog, she said.

“In an abundance of caution, we took bomb-sniffing dogs through school that day and again this morning, just as a precaution,” Lucas said Friday. “Nothing was found and it didn’t seem to have any validity whatsoever.”