A senior prank at a North Carolina high school went awry Tuesday when hidden alarm clocks in lockers led school officials to suspect a bomb threat and evacuate 1,500 students.
Dan Farrell said his daughter Shannon Farrell told him about her plan with another student to lock a few alarm clocks in unused lockers and set them to ring every few minutes, The Statesville Record & Landmark reports.
Troutman Police Chief Matthew Selves told the outlet that the students cut zip-ties from the unoccupied lockers, placed the alarm clocks inside and secured them with their own locks. The ticking inside concerned a school resource officer, who called for help.
The joke got more serious when Farrell received a call from his younger daughter, informing him that Shannon was being questioned at school. The May 26 prank caused 1,500 students and 200 faculty members to be evacuated from the building, according to WBTV.
Selves told The Statesville Record & Landmark that Shannon Farrell and Lekia Hall, both 18-year-old seniors, were charged with perpetrating a hoax by use of false bomb or other device in a public building.
“The more I think about it I guess it was kind of silly, today's world," Dan Farrell told WBTV. "I didn't think anything of it when she told me, I thought it was kind of funny, you know, have one go off every couple minutes ... teachers running everywhere to get them, but I guess the more I think about it now, I guess it was kind of silly in today's world with all the bomb threats and everything, never thought about it that way."
Bomb-sniffing dogs were brought to the school, but found nothing.
#SouthIredell parents say students planned a senior prank today involving alarm clocks in the lockers. Police say bomb dog test negative.
— Rachel Rollar (@RachelRollar) May 26, 2015
WCNC reports that in a statement, Principal Tim Ivey emphasized the need to always consider school safety.
"As parents, I ask for your help in reminding your students that while they may believe something is innocent, an immediate response may be necessary to ensure the safety and security of all students and staff," he wrote.
Watch chopper footage recorded during the school evacuation below.