Ted Waddell | Democrat
GUARDING THE ENTRANCE to the Sullivan West High School in Lake Huntington during Wednesday's school lockdown were, from the left: Sullivan County Sheriff Sergeant Louis Alvarez and New York State Police Troopers Alice Hanba and Adrian Tyndell.
'Grenade' locks down Sullivan West High
By Frank Rizzo
LAKE HUNTINGTON April 25, 2008 Sullivan West High School went into a “lockdown” mode on Wednesday after students found what appeared to be a hand grenade at the campus.
Earth Science teacher Jason Clark had his class conducting a litter pluck as part of Earth Day week activities when, at about 10:30 a.m., a student noticed the suspicious item in the wooded area adjoining the student parking lot.
Clark moved his class out of the area and used his walkie talkie to inform the main office.
The school immediately moved students from the side of the building facing the area to the opposite side.
According to Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Hilton, that side has the gym and auditorium and the shops and rehearsal rooms. “There was little disruption of classes. Ninety percent of the kids did not have instructional disruption,” Hilton said.
Uniformed State Police and members of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation responded. According to the state police, “the suspected hand grenade was rendered safe by the New York State Police Bomb Disposal Unit” in Maybrook.
In addition, police and school officials conducted searches both inside the school and on the grounds, “and no other suspicious items were located.”
According to police, the rusty grenade still had the pin attached.
“All the proper protocols and procedures were followed and everybody handled it all so well,” said Hilton, who singled out building principals Margaret Tenbus and Rod McLaughlin for praise.
The students, he added, ‘Were told enough to make sure they weren’t frightened, and understood that it was an urgent situation.”
Hilton said students were sent home with a letter explaining the incident and asking for help in the ongoing investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to call the State Police at 292-6600 or school officials at 932-8401 ext. 1100.
As of press time the investigation was continuing.