Bomb threat prompts lock-down at North Warren school

CHESTERTOWN - A 14-year-old girl is likely facing a felony charge, police said, due to a bomb threat she wrote on the local school bathroom wall that caused a lockdown Dec. 2 of North Warren Central, delayed bussing of children, and worried their parents.

The girls name is being withheld due to her age.

Monday, she remained suspended from school until the case is resolved in Warren County Family Court, Superintendent Joseph Murphy said.

When school authorities first learned at 1:10 p.m. of the threat - insinuating that a bomb would be detonated - had been scrawled on the wall of a second-floor girls bathroom, they immediately implemented a school lockdown procedure, Murphy said.

Students were locked in their classrooms until police and investigators showed up. Authorities went room-to-room inspecting classrooms, and then students were escorted by police to the gymnasium, where they waited for the investigation to determine that evacuation was safe.

Elementary students were released first, and they waited for the high school students, who were detained as the investigation continued, aided by a bomb-sniffing dog.

No bomb was found, Warren County Undersheriff Robert Swan said. Sheriff's officers and state Police jointly conducted the investigation, Swan said.

The girl will likely be facing a felony charge of Falsely Reporting an Incident, he said.

Students were bussed to their destinations 35 to 45 minutes late, parents reported.

Some were upset about not having caregivers and parents notified that a delay had occurred.

One parent at Monday's school board meeting suggested that in the future, the school should notify parents through an established phone-tree that the busses would be late, to avoid stressful missed connections.

Murphy assured the parents present at the meeting that school authorities would try to improve communication.

Regardless of the late busses, Murphy said the incident was handled well, particularly by the students and faculty.

"We have a procedure to follow, and everything went well," he said.

High School Principal Theresa Andrew also said the incident was handled in a smooth manner.

"The students' behavior was excellent," she said.

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