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Bomb hoax prompts Canton Central evacuation; activities to resume

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CANTON — A bomb threat scrawled on a middle school bathroom stall led to the evacuation of the Canton Central School complex Friday afternoon, Superintendent William A. Gregory said.

About 1:20 p.m., students were told to exit the building for an evacuation drill and to take their personal belongings because they would not be returning to school.

Village and state police responded, the middle school was searched and no threat was found, Mr. Gregory said.

All evening and weekend activities were resumed as scheduled, the superintendent said.

Interim Canton Police Chief Victor N. Rycroft said there is some video to review, but investigators did not have any suspects in the case as of Friday afternoon.

Mr. Gregory said students were moved to the bus garage for transportation home or released to their parents at the regular dismissal time.

Some students took the disruption in stride as they waited out the last hour of a sunny Friday afternoon on bleachers or the playground.

Zayne C. Frysinger, 15, said students were told over the public announcement system to leave the building for an evacuation drill.

“They told us to bring our stuff because we weren’t coming back into the building,” the high school freshman said. “It probably makes some people nervous, but most just go outside and follow instructions.”

Senior Noah D. Robert, 17, said that while officials told students the evacuation was a drill, word about a note in the bathroom circulated quickly among those waiting outside.

A middle school student saw the bomb threat in a boys’ bathroom and alerted a faculty member, Mr. Gregory said. The contents of the note were not disclosed.

Friday’s incident was the third such alert at the school in just over a year.

The district had a false bomb threat earlier this school year on Oct. 12 and last school year on May 3, 2012. In the Oct. 12 incident, Canton school officials evacuated the building in response to a fake bomb threat that had been scribbled on the stall of the boys’ bathroom in the middle school.

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