Another threat empties an area school

May 01, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Another phony bomb threat scrawled on a bathroom wall emptied another area school, with 1,400 students at Faust Junior High School having to wait on the bleachers outside while Chambersburg police searched the building Monday afternoon.

"We have them out in the stadium," Superintendent Joseph Padasak said at about 2 p.m. "We'll let them back in the building once (the police) give us the building back."

The message, indicating the school was going to be blown up, was discovered at about 1:30 p.m., written on the wall of a second floor boys bathroom, school district spokeswoman Sylvia Rockwood said. Police searched the building for about an hour, and nothing was found, she said.

The students were allowed back in the school, reported to their homerooms and were dismissed, she said. Students were given a letter from Principal David L. Shank to take home to their parents.


The letter stated that the district followed "our standard safety procedures" and that police and district officials will "fully investigate this incident." Rockwood said at about 4:30 p.m. that the person or people responsible had not been identified.

"You have 1,400 kids moving through those halls every 40 minutes for four minutes at a time," said Rockwood, making it difficult to determine when and by whom the threat was written.

The district and police will review school surveillance video tapes to try and identify the culprit, Padasak said Monday night.

"If we catch them, they'll definitely be expelled, in addition to being arrested," Padasak said. Another such incident, he warned, could result in other consequences.

"If this happens again ... there'll be an extra day of school this summer," he said. "This is a tremendous disruption."

On April 19, a message on a girls bathroom wall resulted in James Buchanan High School High School in Mercersburg, Pa., being evacuated, according to Mercersburg police. The same day a suspicious package at Shippensburg (Pa.) University caused the cancellation of evening classes, though it turned to be a box of papers, according to university officials.

On April 23, another threat was found written on a bathroom wall at the Manito alternative school on Browns Mill Road near Greencastle, Pa., Pennsylvania State Police said.

Past threats

April 19: Message on a bathroom wall forces the evacuation of James Buchanan High School in Mercersburg, Pa.

April 19: A suspicious package near a campus dorm forces the cancellation of evening classes at Shippensburg (Pa.) University.

April 23: A message written on a bathroom wall was found at the Manito alternative school on Browns Mill Road near Greencastle, Pa.

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