Although a Washington County Schools official said a bomb threat at a high school was an apparent hoax, the administration and law enforcement will be looking into who made the threat.
Around noon Tuesday, Daniel Boone High School was evacuated after school staff discovered a bomb threat written on the wall of one of the school’s annexes.
According to Assistant Director of Schools James Murphy, the school was evacuated shortly after the discovery of the message, which indicated that there were “bombs in the school.”
“We’re not going to take anything for granted that it’s not true,” Murphy said. “You just don’t assume that it’s child play. We notified the (Washington County) Sheriff’s Department and they brought a bomb dog in who sniffed for explosives.”
Before the arrival of the sheriff’s deputies, however, around 1,300 students and staff members were evacuated to Ken Green Field, where, Murphy said, they would remain for around 75 minutes. During that time, according to Sheriff Ed Graybeal, deputies searched classrooms, lockers, offices and bathrooms themselves and with the assistance of a K-9 unit on loan from the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department.
“We made an entire sweep of the school, just everything,” Graybeal said. “She (the K-9) did good, then we cleared everything and allowed the students to return to class.”
Students and staff returned to the school before 2 p.m. Though no explosives were discovered, Murphy said it may not mean the end of any potential legal action.
“The school system and the sheriff’s department looks at this as a crime,” Murphy said. “We expect to find out who did this one.”
Graybeal confirmed his officers would be investigating the source of the threat, adding that, to date, every student accused of making a false threat had been discovered and charged.
“We will definitely be following up,” Graybeal said. “We’ve charged everybody so far with every one that we’ve had.
Murphy added that, in addition to legal penalties, the responsible student would face penalties from the school system, as well.
“They would be moved to the alternative school (Asbury Optional High),” Murphy said. “Then they would have a hearing before the Student Disciplinary Committee. Based on the results, additional suspension may or may not be recommended.”
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Earlier report posted at 12:20 p.m.:
Daniel Boone High School in Gray has been evacuated in the wake of a bomb threat.
The Washington County Department of Education sent a text alert to parents indicating that students and staff members had been relocated to the school's football stadium.
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