School evacuated due to bomb threat; will resume normal operations Thursday

Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, September 29, 2021

P.S. Jones Middle School was closed for the rest of the day and John Small Elementary was put on lockdown after P.S. Jones’s principal received an emailed bomb threat Wednesday morning.

Principal Kelly Makepeace received an email claiming that there were bombs in the school. In response to the threat, school and district officials decided to evacuate the facility. P.S. Jones students were transported to a nearby location where parents could pick them up. John Small Elementary was put on lockdown as a precautionary measure because it is located next to P.S. Jones.

Allied Universal police, the Washington Police Department and the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office were on the scene.

The incident is currently under investigation. Multiple sweeps of the school by a bomb-sniffing dog from the State Bureau of Investigation turned up no evidence of explosives.

“We hope law enforcement can find the origin of this threat and put a stop to the behavior,” Superintendent Matthew Cheeseman said Wednesday evening.

Cheeseman credited Makepeace, her fellow administrators and all staff members involved for how well they handled the situation.

“When you move approximately 800 students safely in a short amount of time and get them in position to be picked up by their parents, you’ve done something good,” Cheeseman said.

Both schools will resume normal operations Thursday.