It was supposed to be school as usual at Topsail High Thursday. It was anything but, and the cause of the trouble is still unknown. All Topsail High School parent Holly Howell wanted to do was pick her son up early to go on a hunting trip. "When I came back to pick him, I was told I couldn't have him," she said. More than 1,000 students were evacuated Thursday morning after they noticed a strange odor coming from a Spanish classroom. EMS, police and Hazmat crews quickly came to the school to try and identify the problem. All entrances to Topsail High School were closed. No one was allowed in the building except for Hazmat crews, and parents were not allowed to pick up their kids. "They said I have no right to pick him up. He belongs to the school right now,” added Howell. “He does not belong to me right now, he belongs to the school. And so he has been out there since this morning with no food or any drink since from what I understand." The high school students were asked to sit on the football field bleachers and wait for word from Hazmat. Four hours later, the students were still outside. Students next door at the middle school were affected too. They usually come to the high school to hop on the bus home. After hours of testing air quality and checking pipes in the school, there was still no concrete word on the source of the smell. The building was deemed safe, and students were allowed back in the building to pack up their things. Topsail High School has been open for less than a year. WWAY has been told the problem was not a gas leak. This event has caused school officials to reconsider their emergency plan. School resumes this morning as usual.
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