Hilton Central School District evacuated after bomb threat, no bombs found
HILTON, N.Y. – All is quiet on Wednesday night and back to a sense of normalcy at the schools in Hilton, including here at Northwood and while we now know, that there was no truth to the threat against them, that wasn’t the case this morning.
All schools in the Hilton Central School District were evacuated on Wednesday after receiving a bomb threat. No bombs have been found and all children are safe, says Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Captain Pat Rojas.
Deputies responded after they learned that an email was sent around 8:30 a.m. to local news outlets saying that pipe bombs were placed in all Hilton schools, the district office, and the superintendent’s house. News10NBC has seen the threat.
Students were kept outside the schools, either in buses or in lines, while deputies continued their investigation into the threat. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) of New York are helping with the investigation. After the evacuation, deputies swept the school for explosives using dogs. The bomb squad remained at the school.
“We want to ensure the community that there is no danger right now. We just want to make sure that the buildings are safe for them to return,” Rojas said.
The school will not resume classes on Wednesday. The district is asking parents to report to their children’s schools to pick them up. Rojas emphasized that parents should remain calm because the children are safe.
“Remain calm, pick up your children, and take them home,” he said.
News10NBC saw students at Northwood Elementary School lined up outside as they waited for parents to pick them up. There were the Rochester Police Department’s bomb-sniffing dogs at the school.
Parents got a robocall from the district around 9:30 a.m. They were told they needed to come pick up their children because of the threat, and almost immediately the roads surrounding all of the schools in Hilton were jammed.
Caitlyn Burgio, mother of 8th grader said, “One of our worst fears, I was crying the whole way here. Very anxiety ridden.
There’s kids everywhere, there’s parents everywhere, someone’s looking for their kids, we’re looking for teachers, so it’s chaotic. But, they’re doing as best as they can.”
The students say they didn’t have too much information initially about the threat.
Adriana Burgio, 8th grader, “We all were just like calling our parents and texting everyone in our family to make sure we were all okay.”
And helping each other calm down while their parents raced to be with them.
“My friend was helping me out because I was really scared and I didn’t know what to do while I was sitting there, so I started taking deep breaths and I started to calm down until my mom got there,” said Lauren Buntley, 3rd grader.
Toccara Buntley, the mother of the third grader, described her emotions while driving to the school to pick up her child.
“You got to get here and then it seems like you drive behind the slowest people on the ride here,” she said. “And just the fact that you hope that everything is under control until you get to your child. My child is urban suburban so we reside in the city. And I know there are other parents who reside in the city whose parents may not be able to get to them so it’s kind of hard because you want to help those kids.”
Fifth grader Gio Mascadri also said it was a scary moment. “A lot of my classmates were scared, so we had to comfort each other,” he said.
Hilton CSD sent an email to parents around 9:30 a.m. asking them to pick up their children. Here is the message.
“The district has received a threat that pipe bombs have been placed in all of our buildings. The district is now being evacuated. Students will be boarding buses away from the school and will be kept safe and warm. Parents and guadians should report to their child’s school to pick up their children. After chidren are picked up, schools will be closed for the remainder of the day. When you arrive at schools, please be patient as we take attendance and continue with the evacuation to ensure the safety of all students and staff.”
More about the bomb threat:
The bomb threat came in an email full of spelling mistakes. News10NBC received the email just after 8:30 a.m. It describes the reasons behind the threat:
“There is nothing more vile and disgusting than violating a child’s innonence [sic] and that is exactly what this school system has done. They allow and encourage children to read sexual content such as the book “this book is gay”, a book which contains graphic sexual content and encourages children to use hook up apps. This book is not even designed for teenagers but kids. You are disgusting degenerates that belong on cross. We will ensure all of you degenerates are killed which is why we placed a bobm [sic] in those people’s houses, they are responsible for the grooming of our children. It has been known for all of human history that [sic] the innonence [sic] of children is sacred. Anyone who violates that has forfeit their right to life, we will end you and purify our land of you degenerates and make our country great, we will stop you from causing the collapse of our civilization one step at a time. Evacuate the school and the houses nearby those addresses. No innonecent [sic] people will die today. Each location has 1-3 pipebombs [sic].”
By 8:30 a.m., the district had learned about the email and went into emergency mode. Classes ended at all schools and students were evacuated. Messages went out to parents and guardians as bomb-sniffing dogs came in. Scared parents rushed to pick up their children, causing traffic jams.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is trying to determine who sent the threat and will provide more updates later. You can see Rojas’ full conference from Wednesday around 10:45 a.m. here: