Bomb threat at middle school
FBI investigating second e-mailed warning in a month
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been called in to examine a second e-mail bomb threat in almost a month at Craig Middle School, Craig police said.
Principal Steve Wiersma found the note early Thursday morning. He reported the incident to Craig police by 7:40 a.m. that day, Lt. John Forgay said.
Last week’s note said the school would be blown up the next day, which was Friday, Forgay said. Friday was the last day for district students before the holiday break. Forgay said the e-mail’s writer or writers expressed frustration toward school administration and the note was riddled with obscenities. Forgay said Thursday’s e-mail was lengthier than the first one that school officials received Nov. 19. The two e-mailed threats may be connected, he said. Forgay declined to give the exact wording of either e-mails because “it is too important to the case itself.”
A person or people convicted of sending a bomb threat via the Internet could face federal charges.
“Whether this is a hoax or not, whoever thinks this is a kick probably will not end up too happy about it,” Forgay said.
Security was increased and the school was locked down Thursday night, Superintendent Pete Bergmann said. He said the school was searched inside and out.
School administrators also sent a letter home with students Thursday telling parents about the incident.
Bergmann said he didn’t think the latest e-mail was a “credible threat.”
“We investigate every bomb threat seriously,” he said. “We try to have education as normal as possible until we feel a need for a more intense search.”
One middle school parent who didn’t want to be identified said she was upset that she didn’t learn of the first e-mailed threat until school administrators sent a letter home days later informing parents about the incident.
School officials said they sent a letter home to parents Nov. 22 after the Nov. 19 incident. That letter stated that officials conducted a thorough check of the building and found “nothing to indicate either a presence of a bomb or recent breach in the building’s security.”
The parent also said she wished school officials had more clearly defined the procedures they’re taking for searching the school and whether a police bomb-sniffing dog was involved.
She said school officials made it sound as if students would be considered absent if parents didn’t send them to school the day after a school received a bomb threat.
“These are decisions a parent should have a say in,” she said. “What can we do if we’re not made aware of the situation until after the fact?”
Principal Steve Wiersma was not available for comment Tuesday.
Bergmann said increased publicity about the threats might contribute to their proliferation. The incidences mark the first time a district school has received bomb threats via e-mail, he said.
Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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