Evacuations Rattle North Carolina High School

South Point High students and parents said they're nervous after threatening phone calls this week forced leaders to evacuate the school twice.

The school got a threatening phone call around 10 a.m. Thursday, prompting a "quick" evacuation of the buildings, said district spokeswoman Bonnie Reidy.

Reidy said the school's response team, comprised of teachers, staff members and Belmont police, including a K-9 unit, did a sweep of the school. Nothing dangerous was found and students returned to classes about 40 minutes later.

On Tuesday morning, someone dialed 911 to report a possible bomb threat at the school. A sweep by police and the school's response team also came up empty and students returned to classes after 50 minutes.

Belmont Police Capt. B. D. Carpenter said earlier this week that no bomb threats had been reported at any Belmont school in about four years.

It's a felony to make a false bomb threat under N.C. law. Students who make threats can be suspended for up to a year. Violators can also have their driver's license or permit revoked.

Thursday's call did not mention a bomb, Reidy said.

But South Point junior Anna Slate called both of the threats "disturbing."

"Our school is pretty safe," she said. "I feel pretty safe there but (the calls) definitely worry me."

Slate said she had just arrived to school Tuesday morning when she noticed other students standing outside. The school's fire alarm was blaring.

She said students thought there might be a fire, but later learned there had been a bomb threat.

When the fire alarm sounded Thursday, students assumed it was another bomb threat, said sophomore Kim Liftin.

"I thought it was kind of random, just really weird and unexpected," she said.

South Point Principal Sheri Little planned to call parents Thursday evening about the evacuation using the district's new Connect-ED automated telephone system. She did the same after Tuesday's bomb scare.

"It's unnerving because safety is the number one issue," said Gaston school board member David Phillips, whose son is a freshman at South Point.

Phillips said he was relieved that police and school leaders did not find anything during the sweeps of the school.

Reidy said she doesn't recall having two evacuations at a school in such a short time.

But she said the number of bomb threats received at schools does increase during the spring.