MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

February 20, 2014

Police probe school bomb threat

Wagoner schools evacuated in morning back for afternoon session

WAGONER — A bomb threat which forced the evacuation of Wagoner students does not appear to be related to a threat made at a retail store last week, an official said.

Approximately 1,200 middle school and high school students in Wagoner were evacuated Thursday morning after Wagoner Police received a call at approximately 8:32 a.m. regarding a bomb at the high school, said Wagoner Police Chief Bob Haley.

Haley said that the bomb threat regarding the school does not appear to be connected to a bomb threat received last week regarding Wagoner Walmart.

“What we received at the police department today was completely different from last week.”

Police received the call Thursday through a technology system that is used by hearing-impaired individuals, said Monte Thompson, Wagoner Schools superintendent.

“There was no specifics as far as a type of device or a location,” Haley said.

Information received last week included location and number of devices.

“Sounds different,” Haley said.

Following a noon media conference, Haley said police are continuing the investigation of last week’s bomb threat and have received the phone number that called in that threat. Police also are working with the service that relayed the bomb threat information regarding the school.

Wagoner Police and other law enforcement agencies searched the two school buildings during the morning.

“We have found nothing,” Thompson said during the noon conference.

The bomb threat was specific to the high school, but both buildings were evacuated because the schools are next to each other, the superintendent said.

High school students were evacuated to the school’s track. Middle school students were taken to First Baptist Church near the county courthouse and the school’s administrative offices.

Thompson described Thursday morning as “one of those mornings we do not expect in public education, but when it does we have to take action.”

Parents received updates from school officials several times during the morning regarding the bomb threat and action taken,  Thompson said.

Shawn Scroggins picked up her daughter Jodi, a sixth-grade student, at First Baptist Church.

“I think it’s crazy,” she said, adding there is so much of this type of action going on. “I think a lot of kids have lost their way.”

While many parents picked up their children at the evacuation locations Thursday morning, during the noon media conference the superintendent said that classes would be conducted in the afternoon.

“We need to continue having school,” he said.

He said that although he respected parents’ decisions regarding whether their children would return to school for the afternoon, if students were not in school they would be counted absent. Classes did resume at both schools.

Reach Anita Reding at (918) 684-2903 or areding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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