Parents Upset After Penn Hills Bomb Threat

PENN HILLS (KDKA) – Moments after a bomb threat at the Penn Hills High School, word spread to students and parents in the school district.

Initially, no one knew what was going on, which led to a wide range of rumors being sent from students to parents over the phone.

More than 1,400 students in the Penn Hills School District weren’t allowed into the high school Wednesday morning.

“I guess it’s a bomb threat. They didn’t let anybody in,” Brandon Mitchell said.

Police cars blocked all streets leading to the high school. Some students were taken off the grounds by buses, while many walked home.

Several parents were upset over how the situation was handled.

“This gentleman right here, police officer of the Penn Hills School District, where I pay my taxes, is not even listening to me. He’s saying all the children are out of the school. No, they are not,” Rhonda Bentley said.

Bently has a son and two nephews at the school. She was able to pick up her nephews, but could not locate her son.

“My daughter goes to the high school. I get a call from an employee telling me that people are locked in the cupboard and the kids don’t even know what’s going on. This is a disgrace how they handled this,” Erin Vecchio said.

Parents said they plan to meet with school officials about how the situation was handled.

  • Terrible

    Moments……really…….moments!!!! There were teachers allowed to go into school at 6:50 am eventhough the threat came in at 6:30 am. Why were they allowed in? What the safety of the teachers doesn’t matter?
    Horrible……horrible….call this morning by the ADMINISTRATION at Penn Hills!

    • josie

      It all has to do with the new Superintendent – Thomas Washington. They did not follow the disaster plan and evaluation – after Linton last year!!! Idiots. BTW walking is not an option for some children. My daughter did not go today and I would be extremely upset that they would allow her to walk home – 10 miles from the school. Folks don’t realize there is a large Penn Hills area – once you pass Rodi Rd – it is okay but everyone in the district goes there – many from the east end of PH. Awful to throw them all in a room without being in control of the situation – federal laws had to be broke – 1 teacher per 25 students – positive that wasn’t happening with allowing them into a space, then fighting breaks out due to animals acting out destroying the center and equipment. I am so glad you guys got it under control. Now I know why there is a cyber school – I will have to utilize it.
      Thanks for keeping control of the situation, thanks for keeping safety of the kids first, and thanks for following your own disaster plan and evacuation!!!! What a bunch of losers!

  • Janice

    There seems to be plenty of room in that building for students. As for students not being informed of what was going on…what ever happened to “Because I said so”. The students don’t deserve an explanation, especially if faculty and staff weren’t 100% sure of what was going on themselves. Obviously something was happening when they were sent to another building and heard sirens. The students should have had the sense to act mature and follow directions in an orderly fashion because that is what they were told to do. No explanation necessary.

    • concerned parent

      Not all of the staff was even with the kids – some were over at the middle school. Why??? Not all the kids were involved in the fighting, only a few. Kids were told to walk home, do you know how big our school district is? Walk home, there are not even sidewalks except for in a few areas and that could be 10 miles plus. The kids do need to learn respect and obey everyone in authority. The school district was put to shame today. I have kids in the elementary school and this concerns me. My 4th grader came home today and told me that his teacher told them about the bomb threat to the high school and why they were also on lockdown for an hour and a half. Home schooling is looking a lot safer and you do not have to deal with situations like this or bullying issues.

    • Kelly English

      If it is the students lives that are being put into harms way, why dont they DESERVE an explanation?? You would want to know if it was you, wouldnt you?? Adults with this mentality are crazy. smh

  • concerned resident

    Wouldn’t you think that the teachers would be sent with the children to another building ,to help keep order. Instead teachers were in one building locked up in an area and students herded into another amidst the waling sirens, yelling pushing, and shoving, and rumors flying without an official statement from anyone.
    At least that’s the way I hear it being told by the media.

    • ph teacher

      Any teacher that arrived at the school after 6:40 was detoured to the Fralic Center without given any explanation. I was one of those teachers. As soon as I arrived at the Fralic center, I was told to watch one of the many exits and make sure students did not get out. It was at this point that I was finally told that there was a “threat” made, and that’s all anyone, even some associate principals, knew. After the students were dismissed by the police, the teachers were sent to the middles school. I repeat, after the bus and the police left, then the teachers were told to go to the middle school. In total there were about 25 to 30 teachers at the fralic center.

  • concerned parent

    teach your children how to act in such situations and not add to the problem…it could mean a matter of life or death for them……they do not need any explanations right then….just do what is asked of them…..the school and police have enough going on trying to figure out whats going on and controlling things without the drama of the children……i am a parent not a school employee or police related….and why do people take the word of the media as gospel….really…

  • melissa412

    Of course erin vecchio had something to say

    • brittany

      oh but of course she did

  • Christina Miller Madden

    Angry Parent
    My child goes to the high school and thank God I had made the decision the evening before to drive her today. I never got a phone call from that school or the disctrict until 9 am. All that time, had my child taken the bus as she normally does, I would have thought she was in school. I would have not found that anything was going on until it hit the media. And then they tell the kids to walk home?? I do not live right down the street from that school. I have a 14 year old daughter. What would the school district have done if God forbid she had attempted to walk home and was kidnapped or hit by a car?? Absolutely ridiculous and just disappointing.

  • Melanie

    I agree with Janice above. The children were an embarrassment to our community. Is this really how we are raising our children? I went to pick up my kids from the school just to see how disrespectful and unwilling these kids were to follow instructions from their TEACHERS, and LAW ENFORCEMENT!!! Such a disgrace that kids in Penn Hills arent even going tolisten to an OFFICER telling them to STAY somewhere. Parents texting their kids telling them to “JUST LEAVE” when they dont even know the situation themselves was not in the best judgement of your child! In my opion, the school and law enforcement did exactly what they were supposed to do. ITS AN EMBARRASSMENT THAT THE VERY CHILDREN THAT POLICE OFFICERS WERE THERE TO PROTECT ARE THE ONES THAT WERE OUT OF CONTROL! PARENTS: SIT AND TALK TO YOUR KIDS! THESE KIDS ARE OUT OF CONTROL!!! GET IT TOGETHER PEOPLE!

  • Concerned Parent

    I agree with Janice and Melanie, These kids made a bad situation worse!! They are messing up the Penn Hills School system and Community. Remeber, these kids are products of their parents. These actions are learned….. What parent in their right mind would tell there kids to just leave school? What the school district needs to do, is to follow some of these kids home,, then they will realize some of them do not live in Penn Hills… THEY ARE ALL IDIOTS!!!!

    • I love this city

      I guess the same parents who let their kids take cell phones to school. There’s no reason for it.

      • hope your kids never in trouble or scared I love this city

        i’m glade my 14 Year old took her cell phone!!!!! she is an honor student and never leaves the house!!! if she didn’t have the cell i would have never known she was told to walk home!!! i was on my way from dropping of children i watch to their schools when i got the phone call. so THANK GOD MY CHILD HAD HER PHONE!!! i don’t let me children even roam the neighborhood cause of this world today and sure would not want her walking home from school!!!

  • MB

    Idiots, idiots I tell ya. Look at the venom spewing from their wrinkled faces… the damage is worse than a precancerous cyst.. Yeah, good stuff to to teach your kids.

  • Jessica

    I still have a hard time believe they were told to walk home when there were a dozen buses waiting there. Something with that story just doesn’t add up to me. And as for staff being in a different building I think it had as much to do with the fact that originally there were in lockdown in the audiotoriam. Plus bomb threats have been happeneing for years. This is nothing new

  • jose


  • kristy

    oh, but of course, none of these parents have “those” kids. their little angels are never guilty. the bad ones are always “someone else’s.” maybe if they spent more time with their kids and got them off all of their electronic gadgets, these little darlings would learn manners and how to respect others. disgusting.

  • Freshman

    They never told us to walk home. The traffic was so bad, the busses were lined up everywhere for about a quarter mile, cars and kids everywhere, and lots of them just couldn’t find their bus, and decided to walk home instead. It was their own fault.

  • 9th grade mom

    Let’s just all be thankful that nothing REALLY bad happened. At least they took the threat serious and got the kids away from the potential danger. Some incidents like this don’t turn out with quite the same ending as we all know, unless you live under a rock. At leas the school has metal detectors and if you’ve ever tried to get your kid an early dismissal, it’s like trying to get through airport security (well maybe not that bad) They could’ve handled things better probably, but hindsight is 20/20. I was trying to drop my 9th grader off today, too. Just take a xanax and have a glass a wine until the smoke clears and see exactly what happened.

  • kristy

    if people feel that it’s acceptable for kids to fight (as many posters noted, “what do you expect?”), then maybe all of the dances, the prom, all of the plays, and all of the sports activiities should be cancelled, since, you know, when a bunch of monsters get together in one place, this behavior’s “expected” and acceptable. morons.

  • 11th grade

    I’ve live in penn hills my whole life. I think things were done good. Anywhere you go their gonna be kids that have to ruin it for other people. I didn’t even feel scared there was every police in penn hills their for the most part. For nobody knowing what to do and it happening so fast I think penn hills did a goodjob.

  • RK

    Although the problem was once again the disrespectful, ignorant hoodlums that grace this district with their presence. Yes it was the out of control kids that made a confusing and dangerous situation worse. After reading many comments on the news sites, it is clear, from many students, that they were NOT told to leave or walk. There were many buses there and many more on the way but stuck in traffic, thanks to the hundred or so parents that thought they could help by driving to the school to “handle things.” What happened to doing what you are told by the teachers, administrators and especially Law enforcement? Letting the ones trained to handle situations like this do exactly that. How is the district and the police supposed to inform every parent of every student when they were not sure what was really going on at that time, not to mention dealing with a small scale riot. This is what happens when kids have cell phones in school, the rumors fly and by the comments left on the news articles, the parents of many were the ones that told them to “Just Leave.” Its sad, but if the “Kids” would have done what was asked of them, acted like responsible human beings, gave the police and the district an opportunity to handle the situation, we would of had a different outcome. I know it wasn’t all of the kids but as we can see, it only takes a small group to cause an already dangerous and confusing situation to turn into total chaos. Parents need to get a grip and take a serious look at their children. My daughter is only in second grade but i can assure you she will not be living in the district to even see the middle school.

  • yinzer pollock

    Erin Vecchio is white trash…what a loud mouth pig…..inbred yinzer.. and watch out for her son….
    Tony Saprano and co…

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