Fifth-grader charged in alleged bomb threat


SIDNEY — A Sidney Middle School fifth-grade student has been charged with one count of disorderly conduct following an investigation by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

According to Sheriff Jim Frye, the charge stems from a bomb threat note left in the fifth-grade girls bathroom on Monday, May 9. When the student was questioned about the note, it was found that she was the one who wrote it and the person who reported it. Detectives conferred with the juvenile prosecutor and charges of disorderly conduct were authorized.

A string of bomb threats has disrupted the class days at Sidney Middle School for a week.

On Tuesday May 3, 2022, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office was advised that a writing was found in the fifth/sixth-grade bathroom stall of the Sidney Middle School. School staff had evacuated the students to Sidney High School. The Sheriff’s Office responded and started investigating. Explosive detection dog teams were called and one team from Lima Fire Department and one from the Allen County Sheriff’s Office responded to the school. The building was searched and nothing unusual was located. School was canceled for the remainder of the school day.

Detectives, along with school personnel, went through hours of video to determine who went into the bathroom and who left. The note was written on a bathroom stall.

On Wednesday, May 4, 2022, deputies were on scene of the middle school prior to the start of school to clear the building and to search the backpacks of all students coming into the school. Nothing of a threat was found. Later that morning another writing was found in the eighth-grade girl’s bathroom indicating something would occur on Friday, May 7. The note was written on a bathroom stall.

On Thursday May 5, 2022, deputies were on scene of the middle school prior to the start of school to clear the building and to search the backpacks of all students coming into the school. Nothing of a threat was found. While deputies were on scene a note was found in the eighth-grade boys bathroom. The note was written on a piece of paper. School officials removed the students from the school and located them to stadium. The Sheriff’s Office was called, and another search of the building was conducted and deemed safe. At that time the students were returned to the school.

Another note was found and this one was in the seventh-grade boys bathroom and this note was also written on a piece of paper. During both incidents it was determined that since the school had already been searched prior to finding the notes and having searched each student, that they would remain in class, locked down, while the school was again searched. After searching the school, nothing of a threat was found and the school was deemed safe.

On Friday May 6, 2022, deputies were on scene of the middle school prior to the start of school to clear the building and to search the backpacks of all students coming into the school. Nothing of a threat was found. While there, a note was found in the seventh-grade girls bathroom, written on a piece of tape. Again, the school was searched and nothing of a threat was located.

On Monday May 9, 2022, a note was written if the fifth-grade girls bathroom. The building was checked and nothing of a threat was located.

The investigation continued throughout the week, with detectives going over writing comparisons, videos and interviews were conducted throughout each day. On Friday one student was provided a CVSA, Computerized Voice Stress Analysis, which the student passed, indicating that he did not draft any of the notes. Handwriting samples where obtained from several students and those samples will be sent to BCI&I for comparison.

The investigation is currently ongoing regarding all the notes.

“I would like to thank Superintendent Bob Humble, the entire staff of the middle school for all their assistance during these incidents. I would also like to thank Lima Fire Department and the Allen County Sheriff’s Office for providing their explosive dog teams and their expertise with threats of this nature,” said Frye.

“As the investigation continues, if there are any more notes, we will actively investigate and see that those person(s) are charged,” he said.