FREMONT (BCN) — The California School for the Deaf in Fremont was evacuated late Thursday morning after a caller reported a shooter on campus, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said.

“I’m glad to report that the call was a hoax,” CHP Officer S. Harrington said Thursday afternoon.

Someone called police around 11:30 a.m. saying that 40 people had been shot at the school, located at 39350 Gallaudet Drive, CHP Officer S. Harrington said.

The call was made to Richmond police, who transferred the call to Fremont police, Harrington said. But since the School for the Deaf is run by the state, it was the CHP that responded.

Officers notified school administration, then surrounded the school and began evacuating classrooms.

“Once we were able to clear each building, we moved on to the next,” Harrington said.

Despite the dramatic presence of police armed with large guns, the evacuation went smoothly, school spokeswoman Brigetta Bourne-Firl said.

“The California School for the Deaf has a wonderful emergency procedure set up to make sure that each student is safe,” Bourne-Firl said. “We have a procedure for almost everything – for natural disasters, for dangerous situations.”

Thursday’s situation was different than most scenarios the school practices for, but students and staff handled it well, she said.

“We made sure that every student was accounted for. We double checked and triple checked and waited until police said it was OK to unlock the doors to the buildings again,” Bourne-Firl said.

“I’m proud to say that we had the children really safe,” she said.

Most students went back to class afterward, and some were picked up by their parents.

Investigators had not yet identified the caller as of Thursday afternoon.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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