SIKESTON - It turned out to be a lesson in cooperation and safety.
A report of a suspicious package at the Sikeston High School had the Sikeston Public Safety Department and the Sikeston Public School staff on full alert Monday. However, in the end, the package turned out to be miscellaneous papers and books.
According to a news release issued by the Sikeston Department of Public Safety, a Sikeston High School teacher arriving work around 6:30 a.m. Monday noticed a cardboard box sitting in front of the Math and Science Center. The box, made to package copy paper, had the writing "Good Luck" written on the top. Realizing this to be very unusual, school officials reported the incident to Sikeston DPS.
Sikeston officers evacuated the immediate area and set up a perimeter then contacted the Southeast Missouri Regional Bomb Squad .
As the Sikeston DPS personnel directed arriving students to a designated area, the Semo Bomb Squad used their robot "T.I.T.U.S" to open the box from a safe distance. When the box was opened around 9:15 a.m., officers determined it was harmless.
"At present, we do not believe the box was placed to purposely frighten anyone; however the matter is still under investigation," said Sgt. Jim McMillen, DPS public information officer.
McMillen added that the safety of the students is paramount in such an incident and officers worked to ensure the students were kept at a safe distance throughout the incident.
"The bad timing of this ordeal made it difficult to notify students and parents before they arrived to the school, however, the cooperation between the school staff and officers made this task easily manageable," he said.
"We appreciate the teamwork from the Sikeston Public Schools and the Southeast Missouri Regional Bomb Team," said McMillen. "We take all potential threats such as this very seriously and are thankful this threat was unfounded."