The American School in London was evacuated during the morning of January 8 because of a suspicious vehicle on Loudoun Road. Middle school and high school students and faculty walked to the St. John’s Wood Church Gardens off of St. John’s Wood High Street. Lower school students were evacuated to the George Elliot School on Marlborough Hill.
According to head of security Barak Fave, one of the security team members noticed the suspicious vehicle at 7:50 am during a patrol they do every morning before students arrive. Fave then went and inspected the vehicle and determined that it was suspicious enough to contact the police just before 8 am. The first police arrived within 8 minutes to take over the investigation.
Until the police confirmed there was not a bomb in the car, their first concern was for students in the science classrooms overlooking Loudoun Road. Mr. Peter Lutkoski, middle school assistant principal, came into the science rooms around 8:40 am to inform teachers that those classes needed to move to the Commons.
As police continued their investigation, they concluded that the entire school needed to be evacuated. Mrs. Coreen Hester, head of school, announced over the public address system at 8:50 am that the school needed to be evacuated and gave instructions on where students would go.
According to Fave, once the school was evacuated, the bomb squad then approached the car to investigate. With the use of a robot, the bomb squad was able to determine there was not a bomb in the car and it was safe for students and faculty to come back to school. Contrary to what was published by other media sources, there was not a controlled explosion by the police.
Once the police decided it was safe for students to return to school, faculty and staff walked the students back to school just before 10 am. Students then continued on with a normal Wednesday schedule.
The Scroll will have expanded coverage of this incident in the next print edition.
By Michaela Towfighi and Cole Charnetski
Henry Platt and Sourna Daneshvar contributed to this article.