Two Maumelle Middle School students were hospitalized and about ten others treated for heat related injuries Friday afternoon after a fake bomb threat forced evacuation at the school.
Maumelle police chief Sam Williams said a handwritten bomb threat was found on the floor of the school around 3 p.m. this afternoon and the evacuation of the students created a health issue in the hot sun while authorities searched the school.
The two students taken by ambulance to area hospitals after they were overcome by the heat prompted a call for a helicopter rescue, Maumelle Fire Chief George Glenn said.
But when the condition of the two unnamed students stabilized, Glenn said the helicopters were not used and the two were transported by Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services ambulances.
The helicopter did land near the school and word quickly spread throughout the community and many parents came to get their children creating a scene that prompted concern.
The bomb threat turned out to be a hoax, Williams said.
"But a fake bomb threat created real injuries," Williams said. He said the school has had a few fake bomb scares over the years but it has always turned out to be a hoax.
Maumelle police in the past usually eventually discover who wrote the note, Williams said and they’ve been prosecuted through the juvenile justice system.
The injuries to students out in the mid-afternoon sun creates a new situation never seen before. Not only will the author face potential criminal charges for the threat but also for those injured in it. School was slated to end at 3:50 p.m.
According to the U. S. Weather Service office in North Little Rock, the high temperature recorded today was 97 degrees Fahrenheit.
Glenn said he was unaware of the current condition of the two students hospitalized but he said it didn’t get as bad as rescue personnel thought when they first arrived on the scene.
The middle school for sixth, seventh and eighth-graders has an enrollment of around 750 students, about half of whom are bused in from Little Rock and other cities within the county.
Under the court-ordered desegregation mandate, minority students anywhere within the district can choose to go to any other school inside the county. Maumelle Middle School is located on Carnahan Drive and the even larger Maumelle High School is less than a block away on Victory Drive.