Bomb threat at Blackville-Hilda High School under investigation

Students and faculty from Blackville-Hilda High and Middle Schools were evacuated Wednesday, Nov. 15 following a bomb threat.

Barnwell County Sheriff Ed Carroll said a call came in to the school between 12:56 and 12:59 p.m. of the threat of a bomb at the high school. He declined to give further details of the call or the caller as it is an active investigation.

District 19 Superintendent Dr. Shawn Johnson said both schools were evacuated because they share the same campus. Johnson was out sick Wednesday and David Corder, District Director of Federal Programs, coordinated with law enforcement and school staff.

There are approximately 340 to 360 students at the two schools, said Dr. Johnson.

Students were first evacuated to the football field behind the school, then transported to the Blackville Community Center. Parents were notified by the school paging system. Once an “all clear” was given around 3 p.m., any students who had not been picked up by parents were transported back to their respective schools.

Bomb-sniffing dogs were brought in from Aiken County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to do a sweep of the school buildings and grounds.

Other area school districts were notified of the threat, confirmed law enforcement.

Dr. Johnson said by telephone interview that he was pleased with the actions of his staff and students. “We have good people in place. I feel confident with these people.”

The investigation as to who called in the bomb threat is continuing.