Bomb threats annoy staff, students

Four high school bomb scares in three weeks have ticked off students and teachers alike.

No bombs have exploded, but plenty of people have been inconvenienced by the pranks. The last threat occurred Tuesday during the lunch hour.

“From our standpoint, it’s more than annoying,” Oak Harbor Superintendent Rock Schulte said. “It interferes with instruction.”

All four incidents have been similar in nature: a message scribbled above a urinal in the boys’ room in marker alleging a bomb will detonate. Threats were also reported Monday and last Friday.

“It was written on the wall — again,” Oak Harbor High Sophomore Ron Edquilang said. “I don’t know why.”

Edquilang was among a group of students who, on Friday, were forced to leave class early only to be greeted by a two-hour wait for a ride home. Most said under their breath that they were tired of having their day interrupted.

Schulte said that even though none of the threats has been real, the district must react to each one as if it were.

“We’ve taken each of them as a real threat — I don’t even know if we have an option,” Schulte said.

High school Principal Dwight Lundstrom said that he will be reassuring students that making this type of threat is a serious offense.

“You don’t get to have an attitude with this, you just handle it,” he said.

No suspects have been identified, Schulte said. But he said he believes it’s the same person. If caught, the person or persons face felony charges and could have to pay restitution for the cost of having the building searched, he said.

The threats have all been reported toward the end of the day when it is nice outside, Schulte said.

“It’s nice weather and it’s somewhat toward the end of the day. If kids had to stand for two to three hours and the weather was bad, it wouldn’t be pleasant for anybody,” he said.

The school will be adjusting its policies for leaving class, Schulte said.

In addition, the school district is offering a $100 reward for information leading to the person or persons responsible for the threats.

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