As the bomb squad worked in front of the school Wednesday morning, teachers escorted students onto campus from a back entrance on Bullard. Some parents chose to turn around and just take their kids home. "A lot of parents had questions about what was going on. But they didn't know or they weren't divulging that to parents so we just decided it was better to take him home than leave him here, just in case," said Julie Mavrogeorge.
It all started around 6:15 a.m., when someone noticed a suspicious device in front of the school. Fresno police say they isolated the area and as students arrived, the staff worked to shelter them in place. But some parents said the district should have used the "teleparent" calling system to give them a heads up on what was going on. Instead, many heard of the incident through text messages from students. "I definitely think the school needs to contact you immediately when something like that happens so you know firsthand. That way, when we hear the gossip, even if it's from another co-worker, we can tell them, 'No, I just heard from the school and it's nothing to be alarmed. All kids are safe,'" said parent Kurene Turner.
A Fresno Unified Spokesperson says the district didn't use the phone system because it's only used when student safety is threatened. "We always take precaution and we want to make sure students and staff are safe. We go by the direction of Fresno P.D., " said Susan Bedi, the Fresno Unified Public Information Officer.
Another parent, Linda Ellish, said she understands the procedure because she's a retired teacher. She didn't question the district's decision and chose to keep her child in class. "That's a typical reaction for the kids. This is an easy way to get out of school. Unfortunately for her, it didn't work," said Ellish.
Fresno police have not provided details about what they removed from the school, but they did clear the scene shortly after school began.