UPDATE: School Evacuated When Teacher Spies “Unclaimed” Water Bottle. Bomb Squad on Way

Readers — This just in. Literally, this is the whole story, by reporter Carol Robinson. Bigger point? See post below this one: “If You See Something, Say Something.” That poster should come with an asterisk: *WE DON’T LITERALLY MEAN THAT WHEN YOU SEE ANYTHING YOU SHOULD SAY SOMETHING! – L. 

PLEASANT GROVE, Alabama – Pleasant Grove Middle School was evacuated a short time ago and school is being dismissed for the day after a teacher found a suspicious drink bottle in her classroom.

Police received the call about 1 p.m., said Sgt. Danny Reid. The drink bottle is aluminum and has “U.S. Army,” imprinted on it. Nobody has claimed the bottle, and the teacher was concerned because it’s not supposed to be there.

Students were evacuated and school officials are notifying parents to pick up their children. Reid said a bomb squad has been dispatched to the school.

UPDATE: Apparently there was also a written  bomb threat. So that makes this teacher seem a lot more reasonable! – L. 

May Day! May Day! As in...today is a May... day.

May Day! May Day! As in: today is a May… day.

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22 Responses to UPDATE: School Evacuated When Teacher Spies “Unclaimed” Water Bottle. Bomb Squad on Way

  1. Bill Dyszel May 8, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    Tweety Bird would be very busy. “I tought I taw a puddy tat!”

  2. Paul May 8, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    Apparently there was also a bomb threat scribbled on the wall. Someone must have wanted to skip a test or something.


  3. Maggie May 8, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    Seriously, we need to stop the insanity.

    Every time the bomb squad is called for a non-issue, we become LESS safe, not more. Every time the police are called, or CPS is called, for a complete non-issue, we waste time, money, and resources. We also make them LESS vigilant, because they are continually responding to non-issues.

    At the same time, we are increasing the paranoia of the public.

  4. anonymous this time May 8, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

    Ah, well, you can never be too careful! Right? RIGHT???

    Come on, folks, what have you all got: a death wish? You want INNOCENT CHILDREN TO BE SLAUGHTERED?

    Are you with us, or are you with the terrorists???

    Wait, who are the terrorists again?

  5. Papilio May 8, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    ““If You See Something, Say Something.” That poster should come with an asterisk: *WE DON’T LITERALLY MEAN THAT WHEN YOU SEE ANYTHING YOU SHOULD SAY SOMETHING!”

    There is a joke about missing quotation marks in here somewhere…

  6. Donna May 8, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    The schools in a neighboring county have been having “bomb” issues all week. Last Friday some prankster wrote on a bathroom wall that there was a bomb in the school. School evacuated, everything in an uproar, yadda, yadda. It was so much fun that it has been done at various schools in the county every day this week. Every school in the county is now on lockdown for the rest of the year to stop kids from writing on bathroom walls.

    It seems like a better course of action would be to just stop freaking out about this stuff. To my knowledge a bomb threat scribbled on a bathroom wall has NEVER resulted in the finding of a bomb. I’m not saying don’t check it out, but it seems like you could do it without all the pomp and circumstance so that kids aren’t so tempted to do it.

  7. Papilio May 8, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    Sorry for going ~21000km off-topic, but: Australians watch the Eurovision Songfestival????????

  8. Hels May 8, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

    Eh, that’s typical kiddie prank. I remember my school being evacuated for a bomb threat (though given where and when I went to school, it did have about 1% chance of actually being true). Because we were being led out rather quickly, I forgot to grab my outside shoes, as soon as I got to the main square, which is cobblestone, I realized that I can’t wear my nice indoor heels there and went back. Of course, they wouldn’t let me back in the building, but one of the police ladies was so nice as to grab my shoes (I described the bag to her) and bring it out to me. So there can be sanity even in this type of event… all up to people doing the actual work.

  9. Lindsey May 8, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

    Only in the south!

  10. Coasterfreak May 8, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

    They send the kids home for bomb threats these days, huh? When I was in high school (graduated in 1988) there was a day when the school was evacuated for a bomb threat. A binocular case with wires stuck into it and connected to a compass pointing north, and a note that said, “If the needle moves, you die” was found in one of the bathrooms around 10:00 in the morning. They kept us outside in 90 degree heat on the football field for four and a half hours, making everybody miss lunch, and then made us all go back to class at 2:30 when it was finally determined the bomb was a fake.

    No more bomb threats after that. I’m guessing because the “pranksters” didn’t get the desired result of being sent home and decided that being in school was better than standing on the football field in the Texas sun for hours on end.

  11. Rachel May 8, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    @Lindsey This is certainly not a regional thing. This kind of overreaction happens all over the United States and some other countries. With spikes in occurrence whenever an actual shooting/bombing occurs anywhere else in the country. My high school (in Maryland) had an evacuation due to a girl finding a brown paper bag in the bathroom. It wasn’t even finals time!

  12. MichaelF May 8, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    Maybe when the people who call these false alarms start paying for them then they will stop, until then anything that is “unclaimed” will just get called in and then alarm fatigue sets in and no one will care.

  13. Matthew B May 8, 2014 at 6:43 pm #


    Thank you. It’s absurd to think overreaction is more common in the South.

    Odd side story…..I work in safety for the chemical industry and I was at a conference put on by DHS. Almost everyone on walking in asked “What’s with the box of bananas?” to a reply of “It’s for later”. That afternoon…..”We’ve got a bomb threat, look for suspicious packages”.

    No one mentioned the banana box because everyone had already asked, and we got lectured for not being observant. Idiots.

    Anyway….It’s reckless to ignore bomb threats. People with real bombs do call in for attention. Absent a threat, it’s also a good idea to assume a kid just forgot something.

  14. Bacopa May 8, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    When I was in elementary school we had real bomb threat drills back in the early 70’s. There was actually a local weirdo who phoned in threats to Houston area schools back then.

    This was around the same time as the ONLY confirmed case of poisoned Halloween candy. Some local idiot was going to kill his own kids for insurance money and poison a few others with tainted Pixie Stix to make it look like a random killing. Even though the police solved the case quickly and it was clear this was a targeted murder by a parent, Halloween became the day of insane nightmares.

  15. This girl loves to talk May 8, 2014 at 11:04 pm #

    Yes papaillio!!!

  16. Donna May 9, 2014 at 8:26 am #

    “Maybe when the people who call these false alarms start paying for them then they will stop”

    In our local situation, they arrested the original perpetrators the same day and they have been expelled from school and are currently being held in a youth detention center. There have still been 5 straight days of the exact same bomb threats since. Some kid even managed to evade the total lockdown to do it yesterday. The kids are feeding off the drama and challenge. Punishment does nothing; stopping the feeding of the drama beast would.

  17. anonymous mom May 9, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    There are serious consequences for calling in false bomb threats. One semester, I happened to be teaching at the same time and in the same building that an organic chemistry class met, and every single time there was an orgo exam scheduled, somebody would call in a bomb threat and the building would be closed down all day. It got to be both incredibly frustrating and kind of a joke: we’d hear the alarm go off and be like, “Must be orgo exam day.”

    They did find the person who was doing it eventually, and he was expelled from school and charged with a pretty serious felony.

  18. Reziac May 9, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    One is really tempted to market water bottles that look like a grenade, and are loudly labeled “GRENADE” in case someone doesn’t get the joke.

  19. Lisa May 9, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    Wouldn’t the APPROPRIATE response to finding a water bottle in a classroom be to toss it in the lost & found? Then, if it’s truly unclaimed after some reasonable period of time, donate it along with all the other things that are left “where they don’t belong”? Evacuating and dismissing kids from school because someone left a water bottle in a classroom and didn’t remember that they brought it seems ridiculous.

  20. Papilio May 9, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    @This girl loves to talk: That is SO funny – and I thought WE were crazy! 😀 Anyway, enjoy the final :-)

  21. Jay Pierson May 9, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    Just this week Montana State University had a lock down, because 2 young men were seen carrying rifles on campus. On my Facebook page I have been trying to tell people how much of an over reaction this, but am finding one person not getting it. Montana is the last best place. We still have an open space mentality of hunting, hiking, fishing. Guns are still every where. So it is not strange that 2 young men were removing guns from their dorm room to their car as they packed to go home for the summer. I just don’t understand this worst case scenario that everyone has fallen into. Every chance I get I tell people we are safer than we have ever been.

  22. Dee May 9, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    The funny part is that we have water bottles just like the one described! Some unit of the army gave our boy scouts a bunch of them to sell at a garage sale. We got two – although one burst when I tried to freeze it. Guess it really was a bomb.