BATON ROUGE, La. -- The all-clear has been given on the LSU campus, with classes scheduled to resume and buildings to reopen on Tuesday, after a bomb threat cleared the campus for nearly 9 hours Monday.
Students were first allowed back into residence halls just after 7 p.m. Monday. After 11 p.m., campus officials notified students, faculty and staff that all buildings would reopen and classes and activities would resume Tuesday.
The initial 911 call making the bomb threat came Monday at 10:32 a.m. to East Baton Rouge Parish. An hour later texts, emails and Faceook told 30,000 students, faculty and staff there was a bomb threat, and to leave quietly and calmly.
“I was freaking out,” said Lauren Mayer, an LSU student. “I didn’t even know what was going on. I walked into my class and I was all late, and no one was even there, and I was like, ‘what’s happening guys?’ Like, oh my gosh, it was crazy.”
“Some lady came over and said, pack all your things and evacuate,” said LSU student Demi Lager. “And everyone was like, what? And they told us there was a bomb threat, so we left.”
“They told us to evacuate, and then we all went to Evangeline, and then after that they had us leave Evangeline, and we were going to leave on busses, but a bomb squad came and I guess checked out Evangeline,” said LSU student Jordan King.
6,000 on-campus residents were not allowed in dorms or sorority and fraternity houses. They were bussed off campus or taken to a safe place on campus.
The problem, though, was once students got out of buildings, there was significant gridlock.
“The traffic....I literally had to walk to him because he was stuck in so much traffic. We haven’t moved in two hours,” Mayer said.
By 1:30 p.m. the campus looked like a ghost town. Usually right after lunch you’ll see a lot of people walking to classes. And the transit drivers say they weren’t allowed to leave until all the students were off campus.
One bus driver said they evacuated thousands upon thousands.
“The general feeling among students is that it was a hoax,” said LSU law student Anna Brown. “There was definitely not a mad rush out of the law center. Honestly, it was kind of a feeling of agitation and just another kink in the day. We just got over Hurricane Isaac, our schedules are still kind of thrown off, and this is just another kind of kink in the plan, and we aren’t able to get back in our regular routine again.”
School officials have been in touch with officials in Ohio, North Dakota and Texas. Last Friday schools in those states also had bomb threats. They have not determined a common motive yet.
The Baton Rouge public schools were on lockdown only as a precaution.