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Bomb threat closes Mahanoy schools

Published October 19. 2017 05:31AM

Students of the Mahanoy Area School District were dismissed early Wednesday after a threatening note was found written on a bathroom wall.

Mahanoy City police Patrolman Jonathan McHugh, who was serving as the school resource officer that day, said the note was discovered about 9:30 a.m. in a boys' bathroom in a hall that connects the Mahanoy Area High School and Mahanoy Area Elementary School.

McHugh said the note, written in pencil, said, "The school will go boom."

Superintendent Joie Green said that after the note was discovered, the school was evacuated as a precaution according to emergency protocols that are in place.

Mahanoy City police Patrolman Christopher Zubris said since there was a threat of an explosion, a state police K-9 unit was requested. The unit, specially trained to detect explosives or explosive devices, arrived about 11 a.m. from state police Bureau of Special Operations, Hershey.

After searching the building and the groun ds, Mahanoy Area officials said about 12:35 p.m. that the school was cleared by the state police and no threatening devices were found.

Both Zubris and McHugh said the school is equipped with cameras outside of the boys' and girls' bathrooms and that the video from those cameras will be reviewed as part of the investigation.

Zubris also stressed that the person responsible for writing the threat will be arrested and prosecuted.

"Full restitution for services rendered will be accounted for by the responsible party and their parents," Zubris said. Green said students exited the building safely and no incidents were reported. "Everyone got where they were supposed to," she said. "The staff did a wonderful job."

Due to the time of the threat and the fact students were to remain outside for an undetermined amount of time, district officials decided to cancel classes for the day. Students were dismissed about 10:45 a.m.

Distributed by Associated Press

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