The Somerset Preparatory Charter Middle School in Miramar, Fla. went into lockdown yesterday after a school official reported witnessing “suspicious items” placed in front of the school by a woman.
Students and faculty were told to walk to the rear of the school, while a bomb squad was called in and several roads were blockaded by police.
“A school official contacted police, and the woman was no longer on the scene when our officers arrived,” Tania Rues, a spokesperson for the Miramar Police Department, told the Sun-Sentinel. "As a precaution, we contacted the Broward sheriff’s bomb squad to investigate.”
The bomb squad did not find an explosive device, but rather a shopping bag that contained some pillows.
Overreactions are becoming more routine across the country as more Americans see common objects as potential bombs.
In November 2013, Austin, Texas police responded to a “suspicious package” call near a Radio Shack, which was not a threat, but police refused to say what the package was, reported Statesman.com.
In October 2013, San Francisco police responded to a call about an unattended backpack near Union Square, which resulted in a bomb squad being called in and traffic lanes closing down, noted USA Today.