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Bomb threat at Hamilton Middle School spurs lockdown, LBPD investigation

Some parents said the Long Beach Unified School District did not immediately notify them of the threat, which police deemed not credible.

Bomb threat at Hamilton Middle School spurs lockdown, LBPD investigation
Parents pick up students following a bomb threat at Hamilton Middle School in North Long Beach Tuesday, April 30, 2024. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Hamilton Middle School in North Long Beach was placed on lockdown Tuesday morning while authorities investigated a bomb threat that police later determined was unfounded.

The lockdown was lifted just before 10 a.m., according to the Long Beach Unified School District. But dozens of parents continued to stand in a long line to pick up their students.

Alex Negrete, the parent of an 8th grader at the middle school, said his child told him students were guided to the auditorium this morning, but they were not told why.

Negrete said he found out about a threat when a notification popped up on his phone from the Citizen app, which sends alerts to users about incidents other community members are posting about.

Negrete expressed his frustration that the school "didn't say [expletive]" about what was going on and left him to fear the worst.

“It’s hard,” he said, adding that an experience like this can be traumatizing for kids.

Parents wait in line to pick up their students following a bomb threat at Hamilton Middle School in North Long Beach Tuesday, April 30, 2024. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

The Long Beach Police Department was notified of the threat at 7:38 a.m., according to spokesperson Alyssa Baeza.

One parent, who declined to give their name, said police were already at the school when she arrived on campus to drop her daughter off at 7:48 a.m. But she said she did not receive any information from the school regarding the lockdown until 9 a.m.

“This incident underscores the importance of discussing behavior with your child and to remind them that their actions and words have consequences,” Hamilton Principal Laura Martin said in an initial emailed statement at 8:59 a.m.

The threat has since been determined not to be credible, LBUSD spokesperson Elvia Cano said, adding that students and staff remain safe and that operations on campus have resumed as normal.

In a second email to parents and staff at 9:48 a.m., Martin thanked the LBPD and LBUSD school safety for their “swift response and thorough investigation.

“Their diligence ensured the safety of our school community,” Martin said.

LBPD officers and the Neighborhood Safety Bike Team are conducting outreach in the area, Baeza said, adding that an investigation into the threat is ongoing.

Editor’s note: this story has been updated with more information from LBPD.

Eighth grader Alexa Rodriguez holds her mother Maria's hand as they leave Hamilton Middle School following a bomb threat Tuesday, April 30, 2024. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

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