BCHS bomb threat a hoax

 

A bomb threat at Beaverhead County High School delayed the opening of classes Tuesday morning by two hours. After an investigation by school officials and local law enforcement, no threat was located and the school was determined safe.

“It is a scare, and even if it is low-risk, we have to take it very seriously,” said BCHS Superintendent Fred Chouinard. “If this happened too often, we wouldn’t have enough hours and we would have to extend the school year into June.”

Monday morning, a student using the men’s restroom noticed the threat written on a bathroom stall wall and reported it to his teacher, who quickly called Chouinard.

The threat read, “Ha Ha…The School Will Blow at 10 am tomorrow morning Im serious! (sic)”

“We called the police immediately, and two officers from the Dillon Police Department came to confer with myself and Gary Haverfield about what our next step was,” said Chouinard. “Since the bomb threat appeared to be targeted for Tuesday, we decided when school was dismissed to completely go through all buildings on the campus to make sure there were no bombs.”

Chouinard sent out a mass voice mail to all parents and guardians of students Monday afternoon through the school’s Blackboard Connect system, explaining the threat. The voice mail told parents that school would not be open until 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday and that parents had the option of keeping their children home for the day on an excused absence. Of the 50 or so high school students who ride the bus, only four attended school Tuesday. Likewise, attendance in general showed a sharp decrease in student population on Tuesday.

Chouinard said since the threat was found on Monday and no students were in the building on Sunday, the threat seemed to indicate an event for Tuesday. He added that the warning was written in small letters and not in a conspicuous location, leaving open the possibility that the words could have been left a week or two before being discovered.

“As far as we know, it could have been written two weeks ago,” said Chouinard. “Now we have everyone on high alert. We do have security cameras in all of the hallways and if we knew approximately when it did happen we could narrow it down to find the perpetrator. At this point, we’ve turned the investigation over to the police department.”

 

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