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2013-05-09

Third bomb threat at Medina

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

On Wednesday morning, May 1, Medina Independent School District Superintendent Ross Hord was alerted to a bomb threat that was written on the wall in the boys' restroom in the high school building.

This was the third such threat received by the school district in less than a month. The first threat, also written on the wall of the high school boys' restroom, occurred on April 12 around 12:45 pm.

The second threat, written on a piece of paper found in the elementary school, happened on April 15 around 10:20 am.

In all three instances, the buildings were evacuated and secured. Elementary students and staff moved to the softball field and secondary students and staff moved to the football field.

"I want all to know that student and employee safety is the highest priority and will continue to be always," said Hord.

While the Courier has not been able to confirm, rumor has it that for each partial day lost due to the threats and subsequent evacuations, Medina students may have to spend additional days in school at the end of the semester.

Prior to and following the bombings at the Boston Marathon, law enforcement agencies across the country appear to be adopting a zero tolerance policy toward teens who make threats of violence or terrorism, said a recent article in The Christian Science Monitor.

A Massachusetts high school student was arrested last week after posting an original rap about the bombing online. According to the article, "the police say [the video] contained 'disturbing verbiage'.... He is charged with communicating terrorist threats, a state felony, and faces a potential 20 years in prison. Bail is set at $1 million."

The article also quotes criminal justice professor Rob D'Ovidio who said, "When I was young, calling a bomb threat to your high school because you didn't want to go to school that day was treated with a slap on the wrist. Try that nowadays and you're going to prison...."

According to Bandera County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Matt King, a juvenile confessed to the second incident and is no longer enrolled at Medina schools.

"I understand the school is beefing up their security," said King, "and the kids need to realize that this is a serious offense with legal consequences."

The excellent K-9 team from Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio once again came out and swept through the campus buildings. "They did not find any materials or devices," said King.