Bomb threats plague FASD: Investigation on middle school bomb threats leads to restrictions

Over the past two months, the Freedom Area School District has been plagued with bomb threats. The threats began in the high school and have caused many unnecessary academic interruptions. Shortly after the threats at the high school began, the middle started receiving similar threats.

On May 4, 7, 11, 12 and 18, the middle school received bomb threats during school hours and causing more academic interruptions. At press time, there was a total of five threats that occurred in the middle school. All threats were written on objects within the middle, leading administration to highly believe these threats are being created by a student or a small group of students.

“It’s getting annoying leaving class every other day it seems, for these immature bomb threats,” Eighth grader, Tanner Boyer said.

Bomb threats are an incredibly serious offense. FASD is working alongside local police, Beaver county emergency management, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Forensic Handwriting Specialists in order to help identify the creator(s) of these threats. FASD administration intends to prosecute the suspect to the fullest extent of the law which potentially includes criminal charges, payment of restitution and school expulsion.

On May 15, Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Fuller released a public statement regarding the threats and the investigation.

“As of [the afternoon of Friday, May 15], our investigation into these incidents has been concluded. We anticipate that a significant set of charges will be filed in the very near future,” Fuller said. This was thought to be the end of the threats however, with the middle school suspect(s) out of school, another threat was found in the middle school on Monday, May 18, leading school administration to believe more students are involved in this crime.

“It is clear that we have a student or students who are not thinking about the possible consequences of their actions when deciding to write statements such as these in our schools,” Fuller said.

To combat these unnecessary threats, administration has put in place strict restrictions on bathroom privileges and movement throughout the schools. Some of these restrictions include enforcement on signing out to use the restroom and not being allowed to go at the change of classes. With the most recent threat, severe restrictions were put into place for bathroom and hallway usage. Students’ were not allowed to leave classrooms without an escort and an adult has to check the bathroom before and after the student uses the restroom. The person or persons doing this crime can ensure to be punished to the full extent because of the trouble caused.

“When we identify the person or persons responsible for today’s threat it is possible that they will face multiple felony charges for each time the school was evacuated due to their actions,” Fuller said.

Students, staff and administration are beyond frustrated with these repeating threats. Fuller encourages all students to step forward with any information they may have to help put an end to these unnecessary and immature threats. If the threats continue, administration has considered options for the lost time.

“If necessary we will also consider adding constructional days to the end of the school year to make up for loss constructional time at the middle school,” Fuller said. “It doesn’t take great courage to stand up for what is right. If they know who is responsible or observe someone writing threatening messages, they must share that information. Freedom is better than this type of behavior. Our students are better than this.”