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Updates from Jan. 8, 2024 evacuation at Pioneer Regional School Corporation + info from Logansport and Lewis Cass Schools

Last Updated on January 8, 2024 by Cass County Communication Network

The following press release was sent by the Cass County Sheriff’s Department at 3:50 p.m. on Monday, January 8, 2024:

On Monday, January 8, 2024 at approximately 9:03 a.m., the Cass County Sheriff’s Office received information of a bomb threat at Pioneer Regional School Corporation in Royal Center.

Preliminary investigation found the administration of the school corporation received multiple emails stating there were explosives in the building. The email did not specify which building. Pioneer administration activated their Emergency Operations Plan. The schools were searched by explosive detection canines and no explosives were detected. The students were returned to the respective schools by 12:04 p.m. Extra officers were utilized to provide security at the reunification locations and as the students made their way back to the schools.

Local, state and federal law enforcement officers were consulted during the investigation of this incident. A similar email threat was sent today to approximately forty other school districts within Indiana.

Units from the Indiana State Police and Cass County Emergency Management assisted at the schools.

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Cass County Sheriff’s Office at 574-753-7800.

SOURCE: News release from Cass County Sheriff’s Department

ORIGINAL POSTS

Pioneer Regional School Corporation students were evacuated to local churches this morning after an emailed bomb threat. Updates were posted on X by Pioneer Superintendent Dr. Chuck Grable and on Facebook by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

At 11:58 a.m., Lewis Cass Schools sent a notification by text, call and e-mail about a threat they received around 10:23 a.m.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office posted at 12:08 p.m. that “Pioneer schools are all clear and students have returned to the buildings. Extra police officers will be present at schools for the remainder of the day.”

At 12:28 p.m., Logansport Community School Corporation posted information on their Facebook page regarding an emailed threat they received this morning at 10:23 a.m., and parents reported receiving calls from the corporation with the same information.


Here’s a timeline of posts:

9:22 a.m. : “Due to an emailed bomb threat for both buildings, we are evacuating our buildings and walking students to local churches while law enforcement sweeps both buildings to make sure they are safe. We doubt the threat is credible but want to error on the side of safety. 1/2” | See the post here.

9:24 a.m.: “Elem is walking to the Methodist Church & Jr./Sr High to Baptist Church. As soon as buildings are cleared by law enforcement, students will return. Parent can pick up students at the churches.” | See the post here.


The update below was posted on Facebook by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office at 9:43 a.m.:


10:03 a.m. : “Parents picking up students must bring an ID. You can only pick up your child. People must be listed in emergency contact list to pick up students.” | See the post here.

11:06 a.m: “Jr./Sr. High is clear and safe. Students are returning. Parents can go to door 18 if they still want to pick up students. Elem is still at church. Elem is currently being swept by law enforcement.” | See the post here.

11:13 a.m.: “Other area schools received similar threats much later today after we received it. So, likely a hoax. However, we are still completing the search of elem school to be safe. It should be cleared in next 30-40 min.” | See the post here.

11:47 a.m. “The elem. is now clear and safe. Students are returning. Parents can still pick up their child at door 1 if they want. We will be feeding the kids when they return and dismissing at normal time.” | See the post here.


A notification went out from Lewis Cass Schools at 11:58 a.m.:

Text message: Please see your email immediately concerning a threat to our school. All students are safe and we are working with the local authorities to resolve this issue.

Email from Lewis Cass Superintendent Dr. Tim Garland
Subject: Explosive threat to Lewis Cass

All threats to our school or students are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. We wanted you to have the facts so you can discuss them with your child and emphasize the seriousness of this issue. At 10:23 this morning, an email was received that explosives were inside our schools. Upon receipt of this email local law enforcement was contacted, as they had been dealing with a threat that was emailed to Pioneer Regional School Corporation earlier this morning in which nothing was found. Local law enforcement has been in contact with the FBI as this is affecting multiple schools and municipalities from the Indiana/Michigan border. Based on the information gathered this threat is not viewed as a credible threat. Our safety procedures are being followed and we are being diligent in monitoring the situation. As a precaution our SROs and administration conducted searches in all of the buildings. Based on the information from the FBI, local law enforcement and the searches, we made the determination that all students and staff were safe in our buildings and will be on a soft lockdown. The investigation is ongoing and as we continue to monitor the situation we will share information as necessary. If you feel as though your child needs to be picked up from the school, please notify the office so that your child can be picked up. Thank you


The following update was posted on Facebook by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office at 12:08 p.m.

“Pioneer schools are all clear and students have returned to the buildings. Extra police officers will be present at schools for the remainder of the day.”


Logansport Community School Corporation posted the following update on their Facebook page at 12:21 p.m.:

At 10:23 this morning, an email was received that explosives were inside all of our schools. Upon receipt of this email local law enforcement was contacted as they had been dealing with a threat that was emailed to Pioneer Regional School Corporation earlier this morning in which nothing was found. Local law enforcement contacted the FBI. Upon reviewing the email which was sent to multiple schools and municipalities from the Indiana/Michigan border all the way to the Indiana/Kentucky border, it was not viewed as a credible threat. Our safety procedures are being followed and we are being diligent in monitoring the situation. As a precaution, our SROs and LCSC staff conducted searches in all of the buildings. Based on the information from the FBI, local law enforcement and the searches, we made the determination that all students and staff were safe in our buildings. All threats to our schools are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. We wanted to make sure that you have the facts so you can discuss them with your child and emphasize the seriousness of this issue. The investigation is ongoing and as we continue to monitor the situation, we will share information as necessary. Thank you!