No. 8 tie - Pair of bomb threats put students, parents on edge

Friday, December 30, 2011

A pair of threats -- one scrawled on a bathroom wall, the other phoned in -- meant Linton-Stockton Schools spent several days under heightened security this fall.

This was voted a tie for the No. 8 story of the year.

First, a threat discovered in a high school bathroom in October suggested an incident might occur Tuesday, Oct. 19, the same day report cards were sent home.

Linton police increased their presence throughout the week and classes remained on lockdown.

Students were escorted when they were required to leave classes outside the times for normal class changes.

The measures taken were in addition to normal security precautions presently in place, Superintendent Nick Karazsia said.

"The doors are always locked. From the first day of school you have to ring a buzzer to get in the high school and junior high," while in the elementary, visitors must pass through the school offices to enter the building.

Next, a phoned-in bomb threat Nov. 7 meant students spent their entire day locked into second-period classes as Linton police and K-9 teams from Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) swept the campus.

The K-9 team returned for a second sweep later that same week.

No bombs were discovered, and no arrests have been made in either incident. However, those responsible could face felony charges of false reporting.

Karazsia has said he favors prosecuting those responsible, adding students have also been offended their days were disrupted.

"They don't like it when this happens at all," he said. "Our students want that freedom. When someone does something like this, it's not fun and games."

Karazsia and Linton Police Chief Troy Jerrell gave few details on the context of either threat, suggesting to do so might compromise the investigation.

Linton-Stockton High School Principal Nathan Moore and Karl Jacobshagen of the Linton Police Department headed up the investigation, which has been termed ongoing by school officials.