Broadalbin-Perth bomb story bogus, but precautions put in place

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
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— The Broadalbin-Perth Central School District moved quickly Wednesday to quash a rumor the high school would be subject to a bomb threat Friday.

Tensions are high in the wake of 26 people being shot to death last week inside an elementary school in Connecticut.

Broadalbin-Perth school Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson said the threat proved to be without merit. Still, the district will place a law enforcement officer in the high school today and Friday as a precautionary measure.

Tomlinson said he was notified Tuesday by a parent that her child heard a rumor of a bomb threat taking place Friday at the high school. “It was not a direct threat,” he said.

District officials on Wednesday interviewed more than 75 students to track down the rumor. “Through those interviews, we were unable to find the source of the rumor and therefore we do not believe there is any credibility to the rumor,” Tomlinson said.

The school “needed to act quickly and swiftly” because social media sites were buzzing about the rumor, he said. “It forced us to control the information and type of information flowing home to parents,” he said.

As part of that process, school officials met with all students Wednesday and assured them they were safe. The school also put in place restrictions on student movements within the building but did not go as far as a lockdown, Tomlinson said. “We got through the day,” he said.

In a message on the school district’s website, Tomlinson said “while we always take such threats seriously, in the wake of last week’s horrific events at Sandy Hook, I want to assure parents that we are taking all possible steps to investigate this threat and bring the individuals making the threats to justice.”

Tomlinson said making bomb threats is a crime. “Our local and state police are already investigating the threats and they will make arrests if warranted,” he said.

Tomlinson said the presence of a police officer at the school is a precautionary measure to further reassure parents that everything is all right.

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