Thursday, January 06, 2000

Bomb threat empties Anderson High


Two eighth-graders arrested

BY WALT SCHAEFER
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ANDERSON TWP. — As Hamilton County sheriff's officials announced the arrest of two 14-year-old eighth-graders for allegedly writing a bomb threat on a restroom wall at Nagel Elementary School Jan. 3, about 1,450 students at Anderson High School were led out for a similar incident Wednesday morning.

        Both schools are in the Forest Hills School District.

        Sheriff's spokesman Steve Barnett said the Nagel students, both boys, have been charged with inducing panic and will appear in Hamilton County Juvenile Court. If convicted, they also will be expelled from school for 80 days — the maximum time allowed by law, school officials said.

        Meanwhile, Anderson High School's students were taken in school buses from the Forest Road school to the nearby Beechmont Mall parking lot late Wednesday morning after a bomb threat was found written on the door of a women's restroom stall in the school's science wing, Principal Mike Hall said.

        The Hamilton County Sheriff's Hazardous Device Unit was dispatched to the school, and deputies and school officials conducted a search including lockers and book bags, Mr. Barnett said. Nothing suspect was found.

        Students were returned to the school about 1:15 p.m. and were dismissed at 2:15 p.m. — the normal dismissal time.

        Mr. Hall said the school has authorized a $500 reward for information leading to the student or students who scrawled the bomb threat at the high school.

        “Our policy, basically, is to prosecute as far as the law can take it, and that means jail time. Expulsion is a given. The 80-day maximum expulsion (at this point in the school year) means they will have to repeat the year,” Mr. Hall said.

        “We also emphasize complicity,” the high school principal said. "'We ask our students to share what they know with a teacher or counselor. If they have knowledge of an incident and do not come forward, they too, are subject to disciplinary action,” Mr. Hall said.

        Inducing panic — unless physical harm is inflicted in an incident — is generally a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to six months' incarceration.

        At Nagel, the eighth-grad ers are charged with writing a threat on a restroom wall Jan. 3 that a bomb would go off there the next day, officials said.

        On Tuesday, a 12-year-old and 13-year-old were charged with inducing panic for a false bomb threat at Colerain Middle School.

       



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