Recent influx of school bomb threats hits NWIMonday, March 06, 2006 By Rory Gallagher, Copy Editor
Next to marriage, education (particularly in he United States) is probably the easiest and most practical way to gain a step up in the social hierarchy. Because of this, primary and secondary schools are constantly changing their curriculums and reforming their standards to provide students with adequate preparation for life after graduation. Unfortunately, security issues sometimes inhibit the educational process. A sixth grader at Gavit Middle School posted a list of death threats on his personal web page. He has been suspended and is up for expulsion. Local police are also bringing him up on misdemeanor harassment charges. On Sunday, Feb. 5, a 19-year-old student at Lowell High School called in a bomb threat. At school the next day, police and school administrators restricted access to certain areas of the school and implemented the use of police dogs and the checking of backpacks. A male student has already been taken into custody for allegedly making the threats and faces 16 felony charges. Since the string of school shootings that plagued the early nineties and the terrorist attacks on 9-11, high schools around the country have poured much time and energy into heightening security. There is a plan of action in the case of a bomb threat made at Lake Central, but because all threats are different, no two would be handled exactly the same. Most likely, there would be an inspection of the building, the notification of the superintendent and local police, and a lockdown of the school. Also, all staff members who answer phones have been trained to deal with a bomb threat. “There is a plan, but each bomb threat is unique,” Assistant Principal Mr. Robert McDermott said. “To use an anology, if there is a fire in the stairwell of upper E, it would be handled differently than if it was in lower E. Each threat is unique and handled slightly differently.” Mr. McDermott also said that no bomb threats are ever neglected and all are taken seriously. If a student were to call in a bomb threat, he or she would be recommended for expulsion from school and handed over to law enforcement, as it is a federal offense. Unlike other schools in the region, no bomb threats have been made on Lake Central this year, but Mr. McDermott claims that we are prepared if the situation were to occur.