Students and teachers were evacuated from Haven Middle School in Evanston this morning after administrators learned a student was telling other youngsters he had a “de-activated” hand grenade.

District officials, in a news release, say police bomb squad officers were called to the school at 2714 Prairie Ave. and determined the device was in fact inert. It reportedly had been purchased by a parent of the child and was intended to be part of his Halloween costume.

After that, students and staff returned to the building to finish out the school day, and students were given a letter to take home to their parents explaining the incident.

School Superintendent Hardy Murphy praised the school staff for professionally handling the situation and said the evacuation was a necessary precaution to protect the safety of students and staff.

School officials did not immediately return phone calls this afternoon seeking information on whether any disciplinary action was planned against the student involved.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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