Naples High placed on lockdown after threat

Posted at 10:01 AM, Mar 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-02 20:02:24-05

NAPLES, Fla. -- Naples High School was put on lockdown in reaction to a threat made against the school Thursday morning.

According to Collier Schools, a threat was called in at 9:01 a.m., and the school was placed on Code Red Lockdown. A spokesman with the Naples Police Department said that someone called in a threat that three explosive devices would go off in one hour. After finding two suspicious packages, students were evacuated from the school.

"We were one of the last classes to leave," said student Lily Green. "Then all of a sudden we hear a knock on the door and they're all panicked, (saying) 'grab your stuff, let's go, run to the mall."

Students were seen sprinting across Golden Gate Parkway from the high school to the Coastland Center Mall, and waited in the shade for over an hour while Naples Police and Collier County Sheriff's deputies surrounded the school. A bomb squad and K-9 units swept the school grounds, and Golden Gate Parkway was closed between U.S 41 and Goodlette-Frank Road for hours. 

Parents were initially told they did not need to pick up their kids from the mall, but many - like Lily's father Gary Green - did anyway.

"Obviously I was concerned about my daughter, and I did whatever I could to get here as quick as I could to get her," Gary Green said.

Shortly before noon, buses arrived at the mall to take students over to Gulfview Middle School, where they could get some air conditioning and water. The Collier County Public School District sent messages to parents of Naples High School students that they could pick their children up at Gulfview.

The early pick-up left left parents and grandparents scrambling to get to Gulfview, where they had to wait in line outside and show ID in order to pick up their kids.

Kaitlynn Timmons left her college class to pick up her brother.

"I just felt like I needed to be there for him," Timmons said.

NHS students who were not picked up were transported back to NHS at dismissal time to proceed with their usual method of transportation home.

The school's Little Eagles preschoolers were transported to Lake Park Elementary School, located at 1295 14th Avenue.

According to the Naples Police, the suspicious packages turned out to be a photography lab bag that had been accidentally left behind by a student in the gymnasium area, and a lunchbox containing a thermos.