Meriden parents upset with handling of school bomb scare

MERIDEN - Certainly, with all of the chaos, surrounding the suspicious pressure cooker found outside of Meriden’s Israel Putnam Elementary School, parents will be happy to know that their children will be able to access counseling on Friday.

Parents spent Thursday morning questioning how Meriden police and Meriden Public Schools responded to the call of a suspicious package.

“You should’ve just brought the school bus here full of kids and have the parents called,” One parent said to a police sergeant listening to their gripes.

The here, to which she is referring, is the Stop & Shop parking lot - about two blocks from Israel Putnam school.

“They should’ve never been allowed into that school ever,” said another parent.

“Children’s safety is the top priority for the police department and I’m sure for the Board of Education,” said Sgt. Chris Fry, of the Meriden Police Department. “When that opportunity arises for you guys to address the Board of Education and Public Safety, I hope you take that opportunity to do so.”

Students, who knew there was a bomb threat as a result of having spoken to their parents on their cell phones, say they were brought into the school gym upon arrival.

“I was freaking out and I was just squeezing my backpack hoping someone would come and get us,” said Adrien Johnson, a
5th Grader

But, he cares about his classmates well being, too.

“What I didn’t like is they were allowing kids to go to the bathroom and if the bomb was near the bathroom they would kind of get hurt,” he said.

Just before 10:30, the pressure cooker was detonated roughly 150 feet from the school.. and the children were warned that they would hear something, but that they were safe.