New security at Eastern middle school Friday after latest bomb threat

Junior Gonzalez
York Dispatch

Students at Eastern York Middle School were greeted with new security measures after the fourth bomb threat this school year disrupted classes and prompted action from school administrators.

An access road outside Eastern York Middle School is blocked as emergency personnel respond to a second bomb threat at Eastern Middle School on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. Amanda J. Cain photo

The school was evacuated about 11:40 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, after a written bomb threat was discovered in a student restroom, according to a news release from Eastern York School District.

Students and staff re-entered the building after Lower Windsor Township Police and the York County Sheriff's K-9 unit cleared the school following a search of the premises, according to the Eastern York district website.

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In a letter to parents posted on the website, middle school Principal Keith Shoemaker said administrators have identified the student responsible for the threat.

Along with a police response, the student will be referred for disciplinary action at the district, Shoemaker stated.

Unlike past incidents, however, classes will not resume as usual at Eastern York Middle School after administrators made changes to "mitigate unnecessary disruption," according to Shoemaker.

The changes include:

  • Use of only one set of restrooms located outside the school's main office indefinitely.
  • Students must use an "e-hallpass" system in order to leave a classroom for restroom use to accurately track hallway activity.
  • Staff will increase oversight throughout the building and regularly check restrooms for any signs of graffiti.

The school required all students to enter through the school's front doors Friday, Nov. 3, and had student belongings — including bags, purses and other storage materials — to be individually searched by the York County Sheriff's K-9 unit.

The drastic measures came after the fourth instance of a bomb threat this year at Eastern York Middle School.

Previous bomb threats occurred at the school Sept. 15, 18 and 22. Thursday's bomb threat is the eighth at the middle school in the last two school years.

"The Eastern York School District considers the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff to be of the utmost importance," Shoemaker wrote. "We strive to create a learning environment that protects the health and safety of all of our students and employees."

— Reach education reporter Junior Gonzalez via email at or on Twitter @EducationYD.