PUPILS and staff at Jack Hunt School in Peterborough were left waiting outside in the freezing cold for over three hours on Monday (16 January) after being evacuated in a hoax bomb scare.
Hundreds of children were evacuated from the school at just before 11am yesterday and police officers and dog handlers were called in to search the building.
Nothing was found at the site, in Ledbury Road, Netherton, and students were eventually sent home from the playground at 2.30pm.
Several students and parents have expressed their anger about the incident with some children claiming that the long wait left them cold and hungry.
The school re-opened yesterday evening for its usual community activities and it is due to open as normal today.
Police have launched an investigation to find the culprits behind the hoax.
A Cambridgeshire police spokeswoman said: “We were called to the school just before 11am to reports of a bomb scare.
“The school made the decision to evacuate the pupils and teachers and this happened before the officers arrived at the scene.
“Officers searched the site for more than four hours but nothing was found there.
“We believe that the incident was a hoax and we’re now investigating to try and find out who made the call.”
When asked why the evacuation had lasted so long no-one from the police or Peterborough City Council responded by the time of the ET going to print.
A statement released by the school’s headteacher Pamela Kilbey after the event said: “A hoax call rendered the school unsafe.
“We followed emergency procedures supported by the local authority and the police.
“The school is now open for evening activities and will resume tomorrow.”
During the incident a number of the school’s pupils posted messages on Twitter complaining about having to stand outside in the playground.
One pupil wrote: “Who’d have thought Jack Hunt would have a bomb scare, had to wait outside for three hours. Cooooold.”
Another added: “Was at school today at Jack Hunt it was mad, four hours in the cold because of one person calling the police.”
Another said: “I’m a student at Jack Hunt, not sure what’s happening but we’ve been outside for nearly three hours now.”
A number of parents and grandparents also expressed their anger about the incident on the Evening Telegraph’s website.
One wrote: “My grandson was outside from 11.15am, frozen solid, no meal, ended up sending a text to his mum saying ‘help’.
“I would have thought that the school would have some sort of drill that gets the children out of any possible danger as quickly as possible, rather than having them standing outside with minimal clothing on a very cold day with no food.
“There has to be a contingency plan, so where was it today?”
Another parent added: “My son wasn’t sent home till 2.30pm and he was freezing.
“Why did the school wait so long before sending the kids home?
“Was the playground the safest place?”
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