Cedar High School in Cedar City was on lock down for the better part of Wednesday after school officials found a suspicious item near the school’s entrance.
Educators and law enforcement decided to err on the side of caution after an assistant principal and a resource officer discovered a cardboard cylinder sealed at both ends with black duct tape on the ground outside the school's main entrance. The school was put on level-two lockdown, in which students could move freely except in the restricted area. Paul Maggio, the Director of Secondary Education at the Iron County School District, put safety first.
"If we're going to err, it'll be on the side of caution. We're trying to do what's best and safest for the kids."
Two and a half hours into the incident a bomb squad robot brought in from St. George used water at extremely high pressure to neutralize the object. The result? A cardboard tube filled with pinto beans—rather than an improvised explosive devise, it appears to have been an improvised musical instrument—a homemade maraca apparently dropped on the way into class. Nonetheless, Officer Darrin Adams of Cedar City's police department defends the excess of caution.
"We will respond to this type of situation every time the same way—very comprehensive and very proactive."
All clear at Cedar High School after an eventful day.