Free-Range Kids

School Evacuated Because of Accordion Case. No One Was Harmed.

What a relief.

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Accordion
Dreamstime

Who among us dares to polka fun at this near tragedy? According to the Grand Island Independent, in Grand Island, Nebraska, a stray accordion case caused a school evacuation.

An accordion case. Seriously:

A suspicious package that resulted in the evacuation of approximately 900 students and staff members from Walnut Middle School Wednesday afternoon turned out to be an accordion inside a box.

Capt. Robert Falldorf of the Grand Island Police Department said a staff member spotted the box in the band room, but could not recall seeing it there before. The staff member did not think the box looked like it held any kind of band instrument.

Falldorf said the Grand Island Public Schools safety officer was contacted, with that person agreeing that Walnut Middle School should be evacuated as a precaution. All students and staff walked to Grand Island Senior High, which is just a few blocks north of Walnut.

The article goes on for about another seven thousand pages, explaining the protocol followed, and the units involved, including dogs who you'd think would howl anywhere NEAR an accordion. But no:

[Faldorf] said the State Patrol brought a canine unit, although he did not know whether the dog was used to help determine that the package was harmless. The State Patrol bomb unit determined that they could open the latches on the box, and that is when the accordion was discovered inside.

Sweet Lady of Spain, that was a close one. Naturally, there was a press conference:

Rick Ressel, GIPS safety coordinator, held a brief press conference at Grand Island Senior High to provide a few more details about the evacuation. He said that the latched box for the accordion did not look at all like a normal container for a band instrument or any other instrument.

While in the end, nothing bad happened, the incident did call to mind another big day in Grand Island: The Foul Smell of 1998, when the entire school was also evacuated. Though many students were taken to hospital by ambulance, Reuter reports that, "no students or staff members suffered any injuries because of the noxious odor."

When it comes to Grand Island narrowly averting mass death, the school district is two for two. But you never know. You just never know.

P.S. The accordion happens to be my favorite instrument. It deserves better than this!

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  1. Fact: “A suspicious package” was my nickname in college.

    1. It is cute that you think that ended.

    2. You tried the popcorn trick at the movies?

    3. We all know the full nickname was “a suspiciously small package”

  2. Please tell me the Bomb-Squad blew-up an accordion in the end.

    1. That is the unbelievable part of the story. I doubt anyone in the security detail had any idea what an accordion is, they would of blown it up on principle. Maybe one of them worked or an organ grinder in their youf.

      1. It’s fucking Nebraska. Isn’t everybody Swedes there and viser the state music?

  3. “P.S. The accordion happens to be my favorite instrument. It deserves better than this!”

    What kind of monster are you Lenore?

    Hell, if I saw an accordion case I would evacuate too.

    1. I believe the banjo is the most hated around here.

      1. Hey now!

      2. You really are no better than Adam Lanza.

      3. Imitate the sound of a distressed farm animal.

      4. I believe the banjo is the most hated around here.

        I would’ve thought bagpipes might be the most feared and loathed.

      5. It always astonishes me that the Irish can use a banjo and it sounds like a regular instrument, with actual musical properties. Everytime I hear it in American music it sounds like the distilled essence of a thousand purified kittens being burned to death and suffocated in a steel drum. I don’t know whether American music being pretty much just bad Irish music makes the huge difference in how the banjo plays out more or less comprehensible.

    2. We once saw a band called Accordion Death Squad (the Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band was opening, and they are awesome). With a name like Accordion Death Squad, you might have high hopes, right? Wrong. WRONG. It ended up being a bunch of 20-somethings that were like a cross of goths, hipsters, and gypsies sitting on the floor playing accordions. One of the only shows we have left early, and it was already a small crowd.

      At the same time, Flogging Molly can rock out on the the accordion, so I don’t blame the instrument in the slightest. But then my mom’s side of the family is Eastern European, so maybe it’s in my blood. My wife had to dance to accordion music at our wedding for about 30 minutes as part of the traditional bridal dance.

      1. My parents were murdered by an Accordion Death Squad. They are no laughing matter, shitlord.

      1. If it wasn’t for the chicks in bloomers, my balls would be sitting somewhere above my kidneys from listening to that guy’s voice.

    3. The accordion is a fine instrument. I don’t really get the accorsion hate.

      Now bagpipes, on the other hand (sorry Almanian!).

  4. It just occurred to me that we have been really lax in making Edgar Allen Poe jokes in the comments of Lenore’s articles. We are basically no different than Adam Lanza.

    1. “It just occurred to me that we have been really lax in making Edgar Allen Poe jokes in the comments of Lenore’s articles.”

      As A Paean to Lenore?

      1. For a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore

      2. Wouldn’t that be a “POEean”?

        1. “Purity Of Essence”?

        2. FOEean!

  5. Update on my local high school:
    They’ve now had 4 days of lost instruction due to “bomb threats” this year.

    1. That’s abombinable.

      1. They appear to be learning from it, albeit slowly.

        First one, they sent everyone home and had police departments from 7 neighboring cities assist in a room to room search that lasted 10 hours.

        By the fourth one, they had the teachers do most of the searching, and it was over in less than 2 hours.

        Maybe they can, you know, ignore it next time.

        1. Thats just what they want you to do.

          1. Because conscientious terrorists always call ahead.

  6. We need common-sense accordion control for the children. How else can we prevent the next Judy Tenuta?

  7. . He said that the latched box for the accordion did not look at all like a normal container for a band instrument or any other instrument.

    What the hell kind of a box was it?

      1. I was expecting Ahmed’s clock.

        1. Ahmed’s Clock

          Aren’t they opening for Accordion Death Squad this weekend at the Roxy?

  8. W M D

    They should be banned.

  9. Weird Al hardest hit.

  10. Yesterday, I had to drop off my daughter’s flute at the school. I arrived about 10 minutes after school started. I rang the doorbell, then noticed that the door was unlocked and walked in and headed to the admin office per the rules.

    When I arrived the ladies were somewhat upset. “The door is unlocked?” they anxiously asked me while one fumbled frantically at her computer. She then announced “Oh yes, the timer hasn’t locked it yet.” Clearly it was very important that nobody who wasn’t supposed to be there walk in off the street.

    She then asked me why I was there. I held up the paper bag with my daughter’s flute and music books and said “I’m dropping off her flute.” One of the ladies cut me off. “Not here! Take it to the band room.”

    She then helpfully game me directions into the bowels of the school and the room number of the band room. “Don’t worry about signing in, just drop it off there”.

    She did not check my bag, which was large enough to contain an uzi, and several clips. Nor did she ask me who I was.

    So off I went, no badge, no log entry, unchapereoned. I walked to the band room. It was empty. I put the bag on the teacher’s chair with a note.

    I did not murder, kidnap or sexually molest any children. However, given the shocking lapse of security, I’m sure 6 children are abducted every week there, and the raped envy the dead.

    1. That would never fly at my son’s school. I know every single office worker there, including the security and principal.

      I would still never walk on campus without a badge. That’s how you get some face time with the police.

    2. Holy fuck, is that really how it works now?

      When I was in school pretty much anyone could just wander in. Doors were never locked during the day. No one got kidnapped or murdered.

      And we thought school was too prison-like back then.

    3. Sounds exactly like what would’ve happened at my high school in the early ’90’s, minus the locked door. Astonishingly, no one was kidnapped, raped, sexted, butt-chugged, or school-shootinged.

    4. I had to go to a school afterhours a few years back to talk to some teachers bout a student I was tutoring. Them folks is always a bit screwy, so at first I didn’t notice ne thing uncommon. But after a bit it became clear there was more scurrying about and hushed phone calls going than usual. Eventually the gym instructor approaches me. Turns out that I was BREAKING THE RULES by coming in with a wee knife on my belt. The crasy bit, however, was that it took them nearly a half hour of the whole staff agonising and tping each other before they could decide what to do about it or any of them get up the nerve to approach me directly. There’s also the crasy bit that there’s no fucking way a single one of them actually thought there’s any real danger involved–they all grew up back when we used to carry knives as children in the second grade (and when folks used to go to court without taking their guns off first)–yet managed to work themselves into a fit simply as a matter of policy.

    5. I had to go to a school afterhours a few years back to talk to some teachers bout a student I was tutoring. Them folks is always a bit screwy, so at first I didn’t notice ne thing uncommon. But after a bit it became clear there was more scurrying about and hushed phone calls going than usual. Eventually the gym instructor approaches me. Turns out that I was BREAKING THE RULES by coming in with a wee knife on my belt. The crasy bit, however, was that it took them nearly a half hour of the whole staff agonising and tping each other before they could decide what to do about it or any of them get up the nerve to approach me directly. There’s also the crasy bit that there’s no fucking way a single one of them actually thought there’s any real danger involved–they all grew up back when we used to carry knives as children in the second grade (and when folks used to go to court without taking their guns off first)–yet managed to work themselves into a fit simply as a matter of policy.

      1. (sorry for the double posting; i got a shakey poster finger)

        I can easily remember the outcries when guns in court was outlawed and when drinking in the car was outlawed. Yet just a few years later, the very same people have completely revitalised their whole Weltanschauung so that what was absurd and abnecessary thirty years ago is essential and true today. I am pissing and moaning about this quite frequently, and, for what it’s worth, seems like there’s a lot of them have actually ablated their memory banks so’s that they can’t even remember before days any more, or if they do no recall it as a time of horror and lawlessness from which we was saved and have no recollection of how they or their parents lamented at the time.

      2. I also remember when they started that crasy thing at the post offices about unprofessionally wrapped packages, and there was everybody saying how stupid it was. Now it’s dogmaticly unquestionable that it was a super idea that should be extended to every part of life.

        It also strikes me there’s something perverse about the culture that puts so much fucking value on surviving that if you can argue something reduces risk of getting kilt any amount it serves on its face as a basis for overruling any objections. It doesn’t at all seem like a universal property of human culture and I think would have been pretty uncommon just a hundred years ago (less than that in most cultures not of English, French, or German origin).

  11. The State Patrol bomb unit determined that they could open the latches on the box, and that is when the accordion was discovered inside.

    And then closed the lid, latched it, took it outside veeerrrry carefully, put it under the concrete blast suppression cone, and blew it the fuck up.

    For the children.

  12. “School Evacuated Because of Accordion Case. No One Was Harmed.”

    Well, I’m happy to hear no one played the damn thing.

  13. Sweet Lady of Spain, someone had too much fun writing this article!

  14. Upon arrival, the young brash cop began yelling, “What’s in the box? What’s in the fucking box?” After realizing the answer, the older, wiser cop said, “Whatever you hear, stay away. John Doe has the upper hand.” Somewhere in there were a bunch of Dante references and a lot of rain.

  15. Hey, accordions can be awesome. Folk metal, anyone?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKmL-LXcaK4

  16. “The staff member did not think the box looked like it held any kind of band instrument.”

    Correct. What band has accordions? Or was this in France?

  17. I wish I knew how to do links without screwing them up.

    I’ve been listening to a lot of funana music lately, and this would be the perfect opportunity to post some links.

    Ceca Branka
    Tony Di Frank
    Tita Preta
    Tony Fika
    Katuta Branka

    There. Just go look them up on YouTube.

  18. They keep up with this crap one day it’s going to blow up in their faces.

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