High school bomb threat proves to be false

Published 9:56 pm Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Picayune High School was the victim of a bomb threat that turned out to be a dud but showed fast response times from staff and emergency personnel.

The message was found in a boy’s bathroom written in blue ink threatening a bomb was in the school prompting the evacuation of all students to an off campus location, said Picayune School District interim superintendent Brent Harrell.

The message simply stated there was a bomb in the building, Picayune Police Deputy Chief David Ervin said. Ervin said the students were moved off campus to a secure location adjacent to the junior high school for safety.

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Harrell said he got a call about the threat from the school at about 12:40 p.m. Tuesday and then called the Picayune Police Department.

“The high school was searched, including the roof, but no bomb was found,” Harrell said.

Ervin said the search was conducted by school personnel and emergency personnel but found no explosive device.

A short time later the building was cleared and the students went back to their rooms thanks to the fast response of the Picayune Police Department, the Picayune Fire Department and the entire school staff, Harrell said.

“The fact that they were able to clear and return the students in an hour and five minutes is remarkable,” Harrell said.

Ervin said that currently the department has not found a suspect but the investigation is ongoing. When a suspect in the bomb threat is found the suspect will be held to the highest degree of the law.

Harrell said if the suspect turns out to be a student then that student will get nine days of suspension and a recommendation for expulsion to the school board.

To date the school has never had a bomb threat where a bomb was found in the school and this was the first threat in four or five years, Harrell said.