Authorities are continuing to investigate a bomb scare that cancelled classes at Mendota High School Tuesday morning. The school was evacuated and a bomb squad was brought in to later determine it was all a hoax.
The normally busy campus sat in silence Tuesday afternoon, after a bomb scare shut the entire school down.
High school sophomore Korina Lopez says, "I was on my way to school when the teachers were actually telling us that school was cancelled because of a bomb threat."
Instead of sitting in class, Lopez spent the day laughing with friends at a local pizza parlor. But the scare was no laughing matter. It happened around 7:00 a.m. when a teacher stumbled across something suspicious.
Mendota Police Chief Jerry Galvin says, "The device was maybe eight or nine inches long. It was wrapped in red. It had wire coming out of it."
The device was found in front of a science and math classroom. It was lying on the ground and right next to it was a threatening letter to students.
"It basically said students at Mendota High School, this is a warning, be careful, you're in danger. It was in Spanish," says Chief Galvin.
After the campus was evacuated, and students on their way to school were turned around, the Fresno County Bomb Squad came in.
Lt. John Reynolds says, "Typically with the schools, you'll have a bomb threat because somebody doesn't want to go to school that day. It's unusual that you'll actually have a device on campus."
Luckily it was a false alarm.
"Disrupted the package which ended up being a bundle of wood wrapped in tape with some wires exposed. It was hoax device," say Lt. Reynolds.
With violence in schools increasing across the nation, there's no room to take any chances.
Mendota High principal Carlos Arredondo says, "We're going to air on the side of caution. We want to make sure the kids are safe."
Even though the suspected bomb was a fake, Lopez says she's still on edge.
"It's kind scary actually because you never know what's going to happen in school and all that."
School will be back in session as usual Wednesday, and police will be on campus to keep an eye on things. School officials say they had recently been talking about bringing in video cameras and fencing to increase safety. They say this incident is one more good reason to do so.