Props shaped like Christmas presents caused a bit of a stir at Theodore Roosevelt High School Tuesday morning, leading the Kent Police Department to investigate briefly before declaring the school safe.
Kent Police Capt. Paul Canfield said his department received a call at about 7:30 a.m. from an employee at Roosevelt reporting suspicious boxes. After a matter of minutes, police determined the boxes were props in a play, and not a danger to students or staff at the school.
He said because the officers were able to quickly ascertain the items were not dangerous, the department did not call in a bomb squad or any other special assistance.
Joe Giancola, superintendent of Kent City Schools, said the props were used the night before at a holiday-themed concert and left out with other trash from the event.
"(The boxes) were left out front to be picked up as garbage," Giancola said. "Since one of our administrators was not aware that they were intentionally left out front, he went through all the normal procedures of our policy and contacted the police"
Giancola said high school staff shut down the front auditorium entrance briefly at the start of the school day, leading students into the back cafeteria entrance while the police wrapped up their investigation. He described the incident as a "very minor" interruption to the school day.
Although the situation turned out to be a misunderstanding, Giancola said the school's staff did the right thing by calling the authorities when during a potentially dangerous situation. He also thanked the police for their quick response and professionalism.
"We treat everything very seriously until we know otherwise," Giancola said.