ELIZABETH - Emergency and school officials said the lockdown that took place for all Wirt County Schools after a bomb threat at Wirt County High School on Monday morning was "successful" and "ran smoothly," given the circumstances.
Law enforcement officials have not released a suspect, any arrests or how school administrators were made aware of the threat.
Wirt County Schools Superintendent Daniel Metz said he was pleased with the community and administrators at the high school and in the county for their quick reactions to Monday's disruptions. The threat was addressed around 10:30 a.m., he said.
"Teachers and students were as orderly as possible," he said. "Everything worked very well; it reverberates throughout the whole county."
Metz said he was pleased with the staff, mentioning the school's principal Kenneth Heiney and assistant principal Elizabeth Smith specifically. He said although the threat was responded to professionally and without incident, by no means would they wish to have a repeat of the day's events.
"It was a horrendous day," added Metz. "But at the same time it is good to work with professionals."
Wirt County Emergency Service Director Bo Wriston said the first thing that went through his mind was the obviously suspicious timing.
"Your mind, based on what happened on Friday, was that the timing of this was obviously suspicious," he said of Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Conn. "You immediately hope it isn't a credible threat and someone is just taking advantage of the sensationalism of the moment."
Wriston commended first responders who arrived within 20 minutes of the initial threat of the situation.
"We are blessed here in Wirt County," he said. "To have such a high quality level of responders and school administrators, faculty and teachers."
Metz said he doesn't believe the parents of children reacted in a more concerned manner because of the recent elementary school shooting a few states away.
"Parents would have reacted the same way if we hadn't had this (the shooting in Connecticut)," he said. "It's a shame we have people in society that think it's funny to induce panic."
There were also rumors of bomb threats in Mercer and Wayne counties, according to Facebook posts.
The West Virginia State Police responded to the scene Monday morning along with the Wirt County Sheriff's Office, Elizabeth/Wirt Volunteer Fire Department, Wirt emergency officials and a bomb sniffing dog.
The school was swept and verified clear by state police canine units and students were returned to the high school around 2:30 Monday, officials said.