The sheriff in Watauga County said a bomb threat 911 call lasted 33 seconds. He said because the threat didn't give a location or time, he and other law enforcement couldn't take any chances and ordered the evacuation of all nine county schools.
In less than a minute, all of the students at Blowing Rock Elementary were moved out of the school and onto a field. Police said the caller threatened there was a bomb in a Watauga County school but didn't say which one. Several parents rushed to pick up their children.
"It causes so much unrest. That security we look to instill as parents it definitely undermines that," mother Amber Shoemake said.
"It's very serious, very serious. There's a lot of things going on in the world and when you get a phone call about your child, anything about your child, it is really frightening," mother Susan Becker said.
Blowing Rock Elementary was like most of the schools across the county evacuated for nearly two hours. The school district said 4,500 students were impacted.
"This is the second week of the school year. Obviously a disruption to the school year but we are going to take care of our children. And if it is the safety of our children we'll do whatever needs to be done," said Principal Patrick Sukow.
Police said after they checked every school in Watauga County students were allowed to return to class. Jennifer Bartok said she and her children will pray for everyone involved, including the person who made the call.
"Teachers, administrators, children and parents -- yes," mother Jennifer Bartok said.
Police said they are working to identify the person who made that call. The sheriff said earlier he listened to the tape and believes it came from an adult male.
Students in Watauga County started school last week. The district has about 4,500 students.