Esko students evacuated following threat; Nothing found

Students in the Esko School District were evacuated on Thursday after school officials learned of a possible threat. Police were called to the school campus around 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon. A student told WDIO News that students were evacuated to a nearby location.

According to the Esko School District, Carlton County 911 received an anonymous call claiming that an explosive device had been seen in an Esko High School classroom. Esko Schools were contacted and law enforcement responded. The school initiated their evacuation protocol.

Authorities helped staff move and relocate all students to a safe location. Students were sent home from that location at the end of the school day.

Officials say a comprehensive and exhaustive search of all classrooms, storage areas, and lockers were conducted with the assistance of the Duluth PD Explosives Canine Unit. School officials say the Carlton County Sheriff’s Department and search team found nothing to substantiate this threat.

As of 5:00 p.m. the campus has been cleared for students and staff to return to retrieve belongings. School officials say there are no remaining safety concerns and school will continue as normal on Friday.

Earlier, at about 1:40 p.m., the school district sent a message to parents through the school notification system and social media:

Esko Schools received information resulting in the evacuation protocol being initiated. All students and staff from Esko High School, Winterquist Elementary and Esko Educational Center have been evacuated… We ask that families please wait for further information as the situation is being assessed. Students are safely out of the school building and are being closely supervised by our excellent staff.

A WDIO photographer on the scene Thursday afternoon reported roads surrounding the school had been closed to traffic.

The Carlton County Sheriff is investigating. Lt. Dan Danielson said no arrests have been made. Anyone with information is asked to call 911.

There were multiple police and emergency vehicles on scene. The Carlton County Sheriff’s Department, St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department, Esko Fire and Rescue, MN State Patrol, Duluth PD, Fond du Lac PD, Cloquet PD and Fire, and other emergency responders assisted. The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad also helped.

Esko’s high school, middle school, and elementary school students all learn in the same building.