DETECTIVES are hunting the sender of an e-mail alert which sparked panic among 1100 pupils and their teachers at Boroughmuir High School.
Headteacher David Dempster said police received the hoax bomb threat at 7.25am yesterday, before the school was cordoned off and S1-4 pupils sent to emergency “muster points” at Bruntsfield Primary and St Oswald’s Hall.
No pupils were inside the school’s Viewforth premises when the e-mail was received, but it is understood around six staff had to be evacuated.
It is thought detectives are now combing the web to identify the internet protocol (IP) address from which the e-mail was sent. They will then have to approach an internet service provider to pinpoint which device was being used at the time of the hoax.
In a statement posted on the school’s website yesterday, Mr Dempster confirmed the school was reopened at 10.30am.
He told parents: “As you may be aware, this morning at 7.25am the police received an e-mail highlighting a bomb threat to the school.
“As a result, the school was immediately closed and thoroughly checked by police. No threat was found.
“The police believe that the threat was a hoax and are currently pursuing lines of inquiry to identify the hoaxer. I am confident that this incident has been appropriately and proportionately dealt with and think it is entirely proper to resume a normal school day.”
Parents described scenes of confusion and alarm as pupils arrived at the school gates to be confronted by officers and a police cordon.
One father of three pupils, who asked not to be named, said: “My daughter said there was a bit of panic when the kids got off the bus and were met by the police and told where to go. She said there was also some panic among the older teachers and flapping about.”
A Police Scotland spokesman declined to confirm whether the hoax alert was received by e-mail. He said: “Inquiries into the incident are ongoing and we would ask anyone with information to come forward.”
Boroughmuir High is one of the Capital’s most highly regarded schools and was last year named Scottish State Secondary of the Year.
Education chiefs are pressing ahead with plans to build replacement premises, which are due to open on the former Fountain Brewery site in summer 2016.