An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

To help aid the selection of the next permanent superintendent of the district, the Atlanta Board of Education has formed a community panel of more than 15 parents, teachers, students and community leaders.
Community advisory panel formed to advise district superintendent selection
Shalin BhatiaApril 22, 2024

The Atlanta Board of Education has formed a community panel of parents, teachers, students and community leaders to provide community input in...

Midtown receives bomb threat for second consecutive year

An APSPD K-9 unit parks outside of Midtown during student arrival the day after the bomb threat call. As a precautionary measure, Dr. Bockman ordered K-9 units to remain on campus during arrival and throughout the day following the call.

All afterschool extracurricular activities were canceled after the Midtown administration received a call around 4:40 p.m. yesterday with a threat of a bomb in the building. 

Following the call, Atlanta Public Schools (APS) officers used K-9 units to sweep the school for threats. Principal Dr. Betsy Bockman sent out a message to the Midtown community later in the evening saying that nothing suspicious was located on campus and that the search was stopped around 5 p.m.

“I collaborated with our School Resource officers and other APS PD officers and it was decided to evacuate the building and cancel after school activities while the APSPD K-9 units performed a thorough sweep of the building/facilities,” Bockman said in the message. “We must check all threats as a precautionary measure, and because the safety of our students and staff always comes first.”

Among the affected groups were Fall sports teams, including the cheerleading, volleyball and football teams. 

“It was annoying, but no one was really phased by it,” senior Co-Captain of the cheerleading team Amelia Lignugaris said. “It’s sad how normal things like this seem to be at school now.”

In addition to athletes attending practice, students staying after school to receive sports physicals in the Practice Gym also had to evacuate the school. In her message, Bockman said the physicals will be given out another day next week.

The Midtown administration has now received a bomb threat call for the second consecutive year, the first being last December. Although the threat yesterday did not disrupt the school day, the previous threat pushed the completion of final exams to after the semester break.

“I would say that it doesn’t exactly start the school year off with a safe feeling,” varsity volleyball player, junior Julia Williams, said. “It’s also not just affecting people at school, but it’s also now affecting extracurriculars and students’ lives outside of the academic environment.”

Principal Bockman reiterated assuring sentiments in her message.

“We will be ready to enjoy a regular schedule and school day tomorrow,” Bockman said in a message that evening. “As an additional precautionary measure, K9 units will be on campus tomorrow during arrival and throughout the day.”

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Shalin Bhatia
Shalin Bhatia, Editor in Chief
Shalin is in his fourth year of the Journalism pathway and is in his third year on the Southerner staff, serving as the Editor in Chief over the News Section. Besides writing stories, Shalin is a member of the Speech and Debate team and plays for the tennis team. He is very excited to help lead the staff this year.
Sierra Pape
Sierra Pape, News Managing Editor
Sierra Pape is a junior and this is her third year on the Southerner staff. When she is not writing, you will find her running for the Midtown cross country team, working for Midtown Votes and political organizations outside of school, and singing and playing the guitar. She is excited to contribute to the paper for years to come.
Hannah Silver
Hannah Silver, Lifestyle Associate Managing Editor
Hannah Silver is a junior and this is her third year writing for the Southerner. When she's not spending her time writing, she is doing cheer, is beta club co-vice president, plays violin, is a company member at her dance studio, is a latin club officer, jewish student union leadership member, and enjoys hanging out with her friends.
Stella Maximuk
Stella Maximuk, Editor in Chief
Stella Maximuk is a senior and has been on the Southerner for three years. This year, she is Editor in Chief of the comment section and helps manage the website. In her free time, she loves to listen to music, spend time with friends and read.

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