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Garces Memorial High evacuated for potential explosive device, police give all clear

Posted at 11:34 AM, Mar 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-14 21:29:12-04

Garces Memorial High School was evacuated just before 11 a.m. Tuesday after a bomb threat was found inside of the boy's bathroom of the school gym. 

 

Names were shouted over a mega phone by staff, students were busy calling home to get picked up and parents were searching for their child among the crowds of students at the high school today. 

 

Student, Jack Waguespack said he was in class when an administrator called over the loud speaker and told everyone to evacuate to the football field. 

 

Officials said students were evacuated once the threat was discovered and Bakersfield Police were called. 

 

"At first I thought that it was like a drill so I wasn't that worried about it, but then once I saw that the cops were on the field and everything that's when I started to get worried," said student Mike Reclusado. 

 

As officers checked the school for any signs of a device, students were told to call their parents to get picked up. 

 

Within minutes, traffic was backed up in the area.

 

"It's the first time it's ever happened, so it's a little crazier than I thought it was going to be," said Monica Reclusado who showed up at the school to pick up her daughter. 

 

Staff members were taking student's names and confirming their parents arrived before they were let off school grounds. 

 

Tuesday's scare happening just days after students were evacuated at Ridgeview High School for similar initial reports of a possible device on campus. However, BPD said the two are not the same. 

 

"Ridgeview I would say is a little bit different because there actually was a firework that was ignited and ultimately had gone off triggering a smoke alarm. This one is a little bit different because there has been nothing located." said Sergeant Ryan Kroeker from BPD.

 

Even with the chaos, students said they never felt unsafe. 

 

"I think the teachers did a really good job of keeping it under control and keeping the main focus off of the danger and just the safety of the students," said Waguespack.

 

Garces' principal Myka Peck said all sports and after school activities were canceled Tuesday and stressed that this type of behavior is not accepted at the school.

 

Bakersfield Police said their investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is urged to contact them at 327-7111.

 

 

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UPDATE (March 14, 2017 2:28 p.m.): Police gave the "all clear" on Garces Memorial High. Nothing was found. The threat was written in the boy's bathroom inside of the gym.

 

The campus was reopened at 2 p.m. for students to return and grab their belongings.

 

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A potential explosive device was found on campus at Garces Memorial High School Tuesday morning around 10:50 a.m.

 

According to police, a threat was written on the bathroom wall that a possible destructive device was placed on campus.

 

The school students were evacuated to the football field. Classes and sports were canceled. Parents are allowed to pick up their students at Columbus and Union.

 

23ABC will continue to update this story as we learn more.