Bomb scare closes high school

"Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents are digging into a bomb threat that caused school administrators to evacuate South Kitsap High School March 19.A female student discovered a note scribbled on a talent show flyer in a girls' bathroom stall around 9:15 a.m. March 19 and notified a teacher. The note indicated a bomb would explode in the school at noon that day. School officials sent students and staff home at 11:30 a.m. and called in the Navy's bomb-detecting dog from Subbase Bangor.Port Orchard police searched the building with the Navy following the evacuation. They did not find a bomb and, at 2:30 p.m., they cleared the building. School district personnel and police believe the note is related to an e-mail message school officials received prior to Monday's threat.Late last week, someone posted a message on a website created by a former South Kitsap High School student for South Kitsap graduates stating there was a bomb at the school, but the message did not indicate a date or a time it would explode, according to Dan Whitford, dean of secondary education for the South Kitsap School District.The message angered the student who created the site, and he forwarded it to the Port Orchard Police Department before deleting it from his site. Police forwarded the message to school officials.Police have called in the FBI to trace who posted the message on the alum's website. We're tracking the e-mail as we speak, with the help of the FBI, said Port Orchard Police Chief Alan Townsend. Townsend said police had a suspect - likely an adult not living in Kitsap County, but who might have at one point. If we can make an arrest tonight, that would be just swell, he said.Monday's note, left in the girl's restroom, was unique in its immediacy. In previous threats, they never said it would go off on the same day, said South Kitsap School District spokeswoman Aimee Warthen.South Kitsap High School Principal David Colombini sent a letter home with students explaining the threat and apologizing for the disruption to school activities.Sidebar:A bill to expand penalties for students who make bomb threats at school is moving its way through the state legislature.House Bill 1699 passed March 13 from the floor of the House of Representatives and landed in the Senate education committee March 15.If passed, the bill would revoke driving privileges for first time offenders in addition to the current penalty of 30 days in jail. The license suspension would be effective for one year or until the individual turned 17 years old.The penalty for a second offense would be a two-year license revocation.A second bill, Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2137, would allow schools to treat possession of explosives on school property the same way possession of a firearm is treated.State law requires at least a one-year expulsion for students who bring a firearm to school. "

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates