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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, May 26, 2024


Nov. 9, 2001 – Half of Addelita Cancryn Junior High School's one thousand students were marching down the road to Joseph Aubain Ball Park once again around 8:25 a.m. Friday, as the school was emptied with its third telephoned bomb threat in four days.
The other students again congregated in the school's athletic field, west of the classroom complex.
The threat again affected not only the junior high school but also the nearby Headstart school. Again, the Headstart children were harbored at the Frenchtown Community Center, along with the Cancryn disabled and asthmatic students.
After three days, the procedure has become routine for Cancryn Principal Yvonne Pilgrim — a routine she could live without. "It's ridiculous. At least the bomb squad's response time is getting better, "she remarked without enthusiasm.
Told that a police officer on a radio show earlier Friday morning had said authorities "had some leads," Pilgrim responded, "We don't need leads. We need to be aggressive and get them. It's like a game — catch me if you can."
Pilgrim, on the third day of her ordeal, did not let her anger or frustration show. "You have to be calm and exhibit confidence," she said, although clearly the situation is getting to her, the students and the police bomb squad and Fire Services personnel. One teacher, accompanying the students down the road, said, "Here we are again. We had just started marking period. How can somebody do this?"
Richard Lindo, deputy fire inspector, once again on duty at Cancryn, once again just shook his head. "It's ridiculous," he said. "My concern is the kids, taking them away from class like this."
Deputy Police Chief Theodore Carty concurred with Lindo and Pilgrim. "It's ridiculous," he said. He said he didn't know who the police officer speaking on the radio was. "I can't comment on that," he said. "All we know is it's the same person [making the telephone calls to police]. We recognize his voice."
There were unconfirmed reports circulating at the same time Friday morning that a bomb threat to Ivanna Eudora High School also had been called in. Carty said he knew nothing about that. Later Friday morning, officials at EKHS said they had not received any such threat.
Tuesday and Wednesday, the students were able to return to the school in about two hours. At 9:20 Friday morning, the young people still were in the Frenchtown ball park and the Cancryn athletic field, in keeping with the school's by now very familiar crisis management plan.

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