UPDATED: Northside H.S. evacuated after bomb threatPublished 2:38pm Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Staff and students at Northside High School were evacuated after the school received a bomb threat Wednesday afternoon. The call occurred at around 2 p.m. and was proven to be false by 3 p.m.
“There have been no injuries. Everybody was evacuated quietly,” said Sarah Hodges, a spokeswoman for Beaufort County Schools.
This is not the first bomb threat the Pantego school has received this year. The school was evacuated three times in a matter of two weeks last May. All of the claims were false.
“We put them (faculty, students and staff) in staging areas until the school is searched. Students are out of classrooms. It interrupts lunch. Emergency responders have to come in, and they’re basically tied up for a couple of hours,” reported Don Phipps, superintendent of schools after the previous evacuations.
Phipps said each threat is taken seriously. He drove out to the campus and law-enforcement officials thoroughly searched the grounds after each one.
“It creates such havoc,” Phipps.
The evacuations and searches often take about an hour to conduct. Students returned to class shortly before 3 p.m. Wednesday, after a thorough search was conducted.
Parents were notified that the evacuations were because of communicated or perceived threats and called again once the bomb threats were proven to be hoaxes.
Schools often see a rise in these incidents during finals and at the end of the school year, Phipps said.
Students have been encouraged to share any information they may have about who is behind the threats. If the threats are traced to a student, the student and his or her parents would be responsible for the expenses associated with responding to each threat and could face criminal charges.
Maj. Kenneth Watson with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office said bomb threats could result in felony charges.
“Anyone, including students older than 6 years old, involved in a bomb threat at a school in North Carolina could possibly be charged with making a false report concerning mass violence on educational property, Class H felony; making a false report concerning destructive device, a Class H Felony; and/or disorderly conduct by disrupting students, a Class 2 misdemeanor.
A Bath teenager was arrested and charged with one felony count of making a false bomb report for a bomb threat made to Northside High School last April.
Anyone with information about the bomb threats is asked to call or send a text message to Campus Crime Stoppers at 974-6400.