Thursday, April 19th, 2007
By Janie Southard
No bomb found after evacuation of Celina school
Celina City School officials received a handwritten threat early this morning that a bomb had been planted at Celina Middle School.
"You have one hour," the note said. However, nothing was discovered following a thorough search of the building by school officials, Celina City Police, Mercer County Sheriff's office, and Celina City Fire Department.
"We take every threat seriously," said district Superintendent Matt Miller.
He was notified about the note from Jerry Harris, assistant middle school principal, at about 7:25 a.m., which is the building's typical start time.
Miller alerted law enforcement, and students were evacuated immediately via a fire drill. Classes resumed in less than an hour. All appropriate security measures were followed. Administrators and staff walked the hallways and checked classrooms and lockers.
Harris said he found the anonymous, handwritten note on the front office floor stating the threat and the one-hour time limit. City police and school officials are investigating, and believe the note was written by a student. No one had come forward by press time.
"In light of the tragic events this week at Virginia Tech, I fear this was a misguided student taking advantage of that tragedy," Miller told The Daily Standard at the scene this morning.
All district building officials were notified of the situation. Celina East Elementary School, which is in close proximity to the middle school, was not in session and would not be for another hour and a half.
Miller pointed out the threat was building specific and no other locations were named.
"This kind of thing is disruptive to everyone involved. It causes anxiety for our staff and students plus creates additional work for law enforcement and emergency personnel," he said, adding the district has not had a bomb threat in at least five years.
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