, Corbin, KY

February 27, 2013

3 students arrested in Whitley Co. High School bomb threat

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By John L. Ross, Staff Writer

“I will blow up the school and kill everyone.”

The words for that bomb threat were discovered scribbled on a boys’ bathroom wall at Whitley County High School late Monday, according to Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell.

No bomb was found and no one was injured.

Three juveniles, all Whitley County High School students, have been arrested in connection with this bomb threat. One student faces first-degree terroristic threatening charges, and two others face disorderly conduct charges.

According to a press release from Whitley County Board of Education, a rumor had been circulating through a social media website that a bomb threat was made at the high school.

Then the note on the bathroom wall was discovered.

Late Monday night, Superintendent Scott Paul contacted the sheriff’s department to investigate the threat.

Harrell explained the Williamsburg Police Department, the sheriff’s department, the Kentucky State Police and Constable Lonnie Foley all assisted at the school. WPD Officer Brandon Prewitt brought the bomb-sniffing dog used Monday night.

At 11:30 p.m. Monday, the all-clear was given, and Harrell advised the school there was no credible threat of a bomb found.

Harrell said Sgt. David Lennon continued the sheriff’s department investigation Tuesday.

“We interviewed many, many students,” Harrell explained.

Finally, Harrell said a 16-year-old student confessed.

“He gave two reasons,” Harrell said. “One was being a copycat, and the other was to get out of school.”

Harrell said bomb threats are never a joke.

“We take this stuff very seriously,” he said.

During the investigation at the high school, Whitley County Middle School personnel contacted Lennon about a possible situation other students there had reported.

A 14-year-old girl had told other students she had assisted in making that reported bomb “which was going to blow up the high school.”

“She just made that statement around other students, and then just walked away,” Harrell said. “She never explained herself (to those students).”

After interviewing that girl, it was determined she and the 16-year-old were not connected to one another. She faces one charge of disorderly conduct.

A second juvenile was charged with disorderly conduct as well, apparently saying he had also assisted in building the reported bomb. School Resource Officer Brian Lawson charged that juvenile.

Harrell commended the students at both Whitley County Middle and High schools for reporting the threatening comments.

“By (doing) so they helped keep everyone safe,” Harrell said.