School officials lift activities ban at Taegu American
PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — Defense Department school officials on Friday lifted a day-old ban on extracurricular activities at Taegu American High school, reversing action announced by the school’s principal on Thursday in the wake of a false bomb threat.
Officials made the decision early Friday to avoid disrupting athletics programs within the Department of Defense Dependent Schools system in South Korea, they said.
Principal Helen Bailey had announced the ban after a false bomb threat forced evacuation of the school several hours that morning. She said at the time that it would stay in effect until the source of the fake bomb threat was identified.
Bailey was unavailable for comment on Friday.
The decision to reinstate extracurricular activities was made after consultations among DODDS-Korea superintendent Charles Toth, Taegu American School assistant principal Kathleen Stander and Peter Grenier, assistant superintendent of DODDS-Korea, Grenier said Friday.
“We felt that it was important that all the extracurriculars that impacted students … in Taegu community and in others, were not disrupted,” Grenier said.
As of Friday afternoon no culprit had been identified in the bomb threat, Stander said.
The note containing the threat was found in a girls’ bathroom on the school’s first floor, which houses the elementary school.
Military police with working dogs searched the school building and grounds Thursday, found no bomb, and declared the grounds safe. Army investigators said they would leave it to school officials to seek the culprit.
While Friday’s planned soccer matches were scrubbed because of the ban, Saturday’s games still will be played, officials said.
Taegu American athletics director Michelle Chandler and Seoul American boys coach Steve Boyd confirmed by cell phone Friday that Taegu would host Seoul American on Saturday in their regularly scheduled season-opener weekend matches.
Seoul American’s boys and girls teams played at Taejon Christian International on Friday afternoon and were to travel to Taegu overnight for Saturday games, starting at 9 a.m. for girls and 11 a.m. for boys.
It was not known when or if the Taegu-Seoul Foreign matches scheduled for Friday would be rescheduled. Seoul Foreign is scheduled to host Taegu on April 8.
Chandler indicated the upcoming matches could be counted twice in the league standings, or Friday’s postponed matches could be rescheduled at another time. “We’re keeping our options open,” she said.
Dave Ornauer contributed to this report.