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Balloon Cancels School Classes
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Wednesday, May 18, 2022
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

A popped balloon wreaked havoc with the school day for Blaine County School District students on Tuesday.

A little after 10 a.m. a Wood River Middle School teacher heard a loud bang from the bathroom.

Wood River Middle School went into lockdown and out of an abundance of caution all schools in the district secured their sites, according to a spokesperson for the school district.

“All other schools are locked out; do not go to schools,” the school district warned

Teachers had heard what sounded like a gunshot in the 6th Grade hallway at 10:15 a.m. The Blaine County Emergency Communications Center received an electronic lockdown message from the school at that time and two minutes later a staff member called 911 . Police arrived at the school at 10:21 a.m., whereupon they established that students were secure and they began looking for an active shooter.

At 11:07 a they a student admitted to popping a balloon in the restroom and, after confirming it, police lifted the lockdown.

Hailey resident Leisa Hollister said she saw several police cars speeding to the Middle School on Highway 75. There she observed about 10 police cars in the parking lot and  police officers entering the school armed with guns. Fire and EMS personnel also responded.

Over the next 90 minutes rumors run rampant with at least person claiming a terrorist was in the school.

At 11:32 the school district sent out a message explaining that law enforcement had cleared every room in the building and determined the noise was a balloon that popped. Afternoon classes resumed as planned except for afterschool preschool.

Polling places located at schools close to the incident were also allowed to resume after the temporary lockdowns were lifted.

It’s not known if the offending balloon was placed under custody.

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