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Three students charged for Whitley Co. High School bomb threat

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

WHITLEY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Buses leave the Whitley County High School parking lot, a normal routine signaling the school day is over. However, on this Tuesday, it's a sign that nothing bad happened after a student found a bomb threat written on the bathroom wall.

"It stated, 'I will blow up the school and kill everyone in it,'" described Sheriff Colan Harrell.

Sheriff Harrell says his office instantly went into action, after being notified of the threat on Monday. He says they spent hours interviewing people, and after school let out he brought in the bomb sniffing dog from the Williamsburg police.

The Whitley County Sheriff's Office, the Kentucky State Police, the Williamsburg Police, and the County Constable all joined in with the school's administration, but no threat was found.

"You never know, and you've got to treat them all the same."

Tuesday, Sheriff Harrell's deputy at the the school learned a 16-year-old boy owned up to the writing on the wall.

"His excuse was he wanted to get out of school today," answered Sheriff Harrell.

Well he did and now he's charged with terroristic threatening, as a result of his note.

The story goes on, Sheriff Harrell said later the same day two students at the middle school, across the parking lot, were heard saying they took part in the threat.

"A 14-year-old male student told other students that he helped make the bomb. Later there was a 14-year-old girl that told other students she participated in making the bomb."

Sheriff Harrell said there is no indication the pair of 14-year-olds knew the 16-year-old, but because they made the claims to other students both middle schoolers were charged with disorderly conduct.

"It's no joke," stated the Sheriff who added that age is no excuse when it comes to these serious crimes, and he wants to see it stopped.

"We don't take any of it lightly, as you can see we charged three people."

The threat even spread online, and this morning the school fielded hundreds of calls from concerned parents. Still other parents said they were unaware of the threat until they received a call from the school's superintendent assuring them of their student's safety.

"I just think it's something they think it's cute or fun, but hopefully most of them, after going through this and after this happening in our school, they'll realize how immature that is to do things like that," said Tamara McQuillan, who has a nephew in the 9th grade.

While the day ended without any incident, Sheriff Harrell credits the students at the schools for being aware of the threat and the claims, because without their help he says the threat could've gone a lot farther.

As it turns out, this day would be the last school day of the week because all of the classes have been canceled due to illness.


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