Plant High locked down for third time in a week

Posted at 11:23 AM, Feb 12, 2016

Parents and students of Plant High School in South Tampa are looking for answers after the school was locked down for the third time this week. 

This time, Tampa Police determined a phoned in bomb threat was a hoax.  Social media led them to question a male student but they later determined he was not involved in the latest threatening call.

Griselda Colucci has two children who attend the high school, a freshman and a junior.

She Facetimed with her daughter during the lockdown.

"It is very frustrating," said Colucci.  "We really have no idea what is going on.  Three times this week they have been on modified lockdown."

Colucci told ABC Action News she received a ROBO call about the lockdown.

"They're [students] scared but they are also taking it as a joke because then they tell them their is nothing to worry about," Colucci added.

Sophomore Kat Sedoff was parked outside of school and studying in her Jeep during the lock down.

"It is really disruptive to learning, especially in AP classes," explained Sedoff. "It gets really hard to get caught up on the curriculum.

Sedoff described locked downs as scary.

"The PA comes on that their is a lock down and the teachers all turn off the lights and lock the doors and we have to either sit under our desk or against and until then we are either all on our phones," Sedoff said.

According to Sedoff, following lock downs, so many students are fearful their parents sign them out of school for the day.

She estimated about 50-75 students signed out during this week's prior lockdowns.

"Nobody wants to be here after that because what happens if the police miss something?" Sedoff said.


School district leaders and police are sharing in the frustration of parents and students, calling these hoaxes disruptive and a drain on resources.

"We have to take all these threats seriously and we are just as frustrated," said Tanya Arja, spokesperson for Hillsborough County School District. 

"It is unacceptable.  This is not something we want any of our schools to go through.  This takes a lot of resources, not only from law enforcement but it also takes resources away with our administrators, who are working with law enforcement."

Arja referred to the hoaxes as 'isolated incidents' and wants to reminds parents district leaders are also hoping police can quickly find the person or persons responsible.

Tampa Police want parents to know finding out the identity and location of the caller or callers is not as easy as checking caller ID.

"It's not as simple as people might think that it is," explained Steve Hegarty, spokesperson for Tampa Police.  "I don't think we are dealing with any brilliant criminal minds but there are ways to disguise who is making the phone calls."

Police believe their is a high probability all of these calls are connected.

"Same school, same time of day," Hegarty said.


On Monday and Wednesday, similar threats were made against the school and it was locked down.

During a search of school grounds on Wednesday, Tampa Police say they found hunting guns in a student's car.  The student had been waiting outside in his vehicle while police searched school grounds.

The 18-year-old was arrested and charged with possessing a weapon on campus.