The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

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The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Eagle Eye News

The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Eagle Eye News

Patiently waiting to be permitted back into school, junior Aesha Bhavsar and sophomore Sarah Rosaler prepare for their upcoming Florida Forensics League Varsity States by reviewing notes on their cell phone. MSD students were instructed to evacuate to Cumber Stadium following a bomb threat during fifth period on Wednesday, Feb. 28. “I am frustrated that I am losing my study hall class time to work on my debate speech,” Rosaler said.

MSD evacuates due to bomb threat

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School underwent a bomb threat evacuation on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Administration held students until 10:11 a.m. and the rest of the school day had a modified schedule.

Around 8:40 a.m., Assistant Principal Jay Milmed went on the P.A. System, telling MSD students and staff to evacuate to Cumber Stadium and to check their emails for more information. Teachers led students outside, where classes were designated waiting areas. Designated areas included the bleachers, the field and the track.

“During the evacuation, my role was to go secure the stadium, sweep the stadium with VSO, police, and deputies to make sure that there was nothing in the stadium since I knew that’s where we were going to evacuate students to,” Milmed said. “The next thing I did was come up to the PA system and make the announcement to evacuate the entire school to the stadium. And then my next job is to work with the SRO and command central to go ahead and make sure that everything runs smoothly while students are outside.”

Police parked their cars around the school on the sidewalks with flashing lights on. Holmberg Road was blocked off immediately by police and no one was allowed to go past their blockade.

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Simultaneously, Westglades Middle School students were prohibited from entering the school or leaving campus. Since the middle school starts at 9:15 a.m., many students started arriving around 8:40 a.m., the time of the evacuation. Students who walked to school were met with police cars blocking the entrances and sending them away.

Students already in classes were held in classrooms. Some buses that had picked up students were sent to Pine Trails Park, while others drove students back to their stops. Those who were on buses were moved into the Parkland Recreational and Enrichment Center and were held until they were bussed back to school after there was an all clear.

“[I was thinking about] school and my little brother; he goes to Westglades, and I learned that they were evacuated to Park Trails Elementary,” senior Karen Liu said. “I’m also worried about my sister; I don’t know where she is.”

Around 9:30 a.m., the district began sending water bottles to the stadium for students and staff . The temperature was around 74 degrees Fahrenheit and the UV index was at 3. To overcome the heat, students laid on the ground and on the bleachers. DECA students took the opportunity to sell chocolate bars to students.

“[I was] confused, and I was wondering if it was a real threat or if this was practice, but we haven’t practiced a bomb threat since sixth grade,” senior Aneesha Nookala said.

At 9:49 a.m., a NBC WSVN 7 News helicopter flew over the field and a minute later another flew over the field. At 9:54 a.m., security began walking on the track. At 10:01 a.m., a Telemundo helicopter flew down the center of the field, continuing to circle the field and eventually flying in place. Both 7 News helicopters left at 10:04 a.m. and the Telemundo helicopter left at 10:12 a.m.

At 10:06 a.m., teachers got word that students would return to their fifth period and at 10:11 a.m., faculty told students and teachers to return to their classes. Due to cafeteria staff being evacuated, lunch was delayed, causing the entire school’s schedule to be shifted.

“I do believe that we need to have a little bit better organization of where we’re going, like every classroom, where the zones are, so that every teacher knows where they are supposed to go,” finance teacher and DECA advisor Sharon Cutler said. “I also talked to a couple of substitute teachers who had no way of knowing what was going on because they’re not on the staff Remind, so I don’t know how to rectify that, but that’s something we need to address also.”

MSD followed a modified schedule for the rest of the day with school ending as normal at 2:40 p.m. Students were released from their fifth periods at 10:35 a.m. and sixth period ended at 11:36 a.m. Students with A lunch had lunch from 11:35 a.m. to 12:05 p.m., then seventh period from 12:11-1:05 p.m. Students with B lunch had seventh period from 11:41 a.m.-12:35 p.m. and had lunch from 12:35-1:05 p.m. All students’ eighth periods were slightly modified, the period going from 1:11-2:40 p.m instead of 1:09-2:40 p.m.

Many students took the opportunity to try and sign out early, and MSD administration planned accordingly. Students with A lunch waited by the main gates to receive a pass to leave. During B lunch, students that were expecting to be signed out gathered in the cafeteria where their names were called out once they were signed out.

In February, two bomb threats were called into the Broward County Sheriff’s Office for schools: one at Cypress Bay High School and the other at MSD. Two days prior to MSD’s evacuation, Nova High School and Nova Middle School were evacuated due to a bomb threat.

“We’re getting good at it, the only problem is, getting good at it means we’re doing it way too often, we want to stop having these disruptions, it doesn’t make sense,” Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Peter Licata said. “You don’t wanna be that person that makes a decision that it’s a hoax or something, we have to go through it, we have to, we’re committed to the community to do the right thing, and do the most safe intervention that we can at that time.” Licata addressed MSD students and faculty over the PA once the bomb threat had concluded. MSD administration and the police stated they are investigating the cause of the bomb threat and asked that anyone with information come forward. The FBI is also involved in the investigation, and there have been no public announcements on any progress to the case.

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About the Contributors
Yusra Khairi
Yusra Khairi, Social Media Editor
Yusra Khairi is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is a first-year reporter. Along with writing, she enjoys reading, listening to music and watching movies.
Anna Horowitz
Anna Horowitz, News Editor
Anna Horowitz is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and a News and Sports Editor for Eagle Eye News. She enjoys reading, listening to music and taking photos as well as immersing herself in unfamiliar topics.
Victoria Damaso
Victoria Damaso, Multimedia Editor
Victoria Damaso is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is a first-year reporter. She enjoys figure skating, listening to music and hanging out with friends in her free time.
Grace Brill
Grace Brill, Design Editor
Grace Brill is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the Design Editor for Eagle Eye News. She likes art and watching movies in her spare time.
Jasmine Bhogaita
Jasmine Bhogaita, News Editor
Jasmine Bhogaita is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and she is a News Editor for Eagle Eye News. She is involved in the ISA and Book Club at MSD. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, playing the piano and spending time with family and friends.
Aisha Hashmi
Aisha Hashmi, Opinion Editor
Aisha Hashmi is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Aisha is the opinion editor for the Eagle Eye.
Brynn Schwartz
Brynn Schwartz, Associate Editor-in-Chief
Brynn Schwartz is a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the Associate Editor-in-Chief for news, sports and politics. She is the Newspaper Representative for Quill and Scroll and a member of National Honor Society. She enjoys discussing politics, listening to music and hanging out with her friends.
Chelsea Townsend
Chelsea Townsend, Photo Editor
Chelsea Townsend is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is a member of the TV Club; enjoying anything to do with cameras as well as playing chess.
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