SIDNEY — Students at Sidney Middle School were evacuated from the building Thursday morning after another bomb threat was received.
Students went to the football stadium after the threat was found. The written threat was found in a boy’s bathroom, said Superintendent Bob Humble. After the building was searched, students returned to their classrooms for the remainder of the school day.
As students arrived at school, all book bags were searched by Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputies before they could enter the building. Humble said nothing was found in the book bags.
Humble said the district’s policy is to move students to a safe location if a threat is received. The location depends on the weather conditions.
This is the third time this week that students have had their school disrupted because of a bomb threat. On Tuesday, a written threat was found as students were coming to school. Students were diverted to Sidney High School. The decision was made to send the students home for the day. Tuesday was a remote learning day for the middle school students.
Shelby County Sheriff Jim Frye said his office was called Tuesday when the first threat was received. He said school officials made the decision to move the students to the high school while the building was searched.
“In hindsight, that shouldn’t have happened (moving students to high school),” said Frye.
A second threat was received on Wednesday that said something would happen on Friday, said Humble.
“Our SRO (School Resource Officer) on Wednesday called me to say another note had been found,” said Frye. “Three notes were found as of yesterday (Wednesday) and two more were found today (Thursday).”
Frye said the whole Sheriff’s Office staff has been at the middle school investigating who left the notes.
“We’re pretty sure we know who it is,” said Frye. Deputies are comparing handwriting and looking at videos to isolate the person/persons leaving the notes.
“We had six deputies out there this morning (Thursday) and every book bag was searched,” said Frye. “We had left and another note was found. The decision was made to evacuate the school. We went back to the school and searched the building. Nothing was found so the kids were brought back in.”
Humble said they are continuing to investigate the incidents. If the person/persons responsible for the threats is found, charges will be filed against them.
“There’s more than one person leaving the notes,” said Frye. “There are copycats. Each note is different and has different handwriting.”
If the person is found, the charges will be up to the prosecutor, said Frye. Charges could range from inducing panic to terrorist threats.
“I’ve seen the best of parents today. I’ve seen the worst of parents today,” said Frye. “One parent drilled their child (about possible involvement) and another parent said ‘you’re not talking to my kid.’”
Frye said his office wants to stop the problem now before it compounds itself into something more dangerous.
“We need to teach them a lesson now,” said Frye.
Deputies will be at the school Friday morning to search the book bags as students arrive for school.
Frye said he has heard from parents who are concerned about their child’s safety.
“I can honestly say that no child was ever in danger,” said Frye. “We cleared the building ourselves (to make sure there were no bombs).”