LUCAMA — Classes were interrupted for a second day at Springfield Middle School because of a bomb threat.
On Thursday morning, the school on Wiggins Mill Road was evacuated so law enforcement could sweep the building.
In the first automated message to Springfield parents Thursday, Amber Lynch, public relations director for the schools, said students were being put on buses to keep them out of the cold. That was at 9:09 a.m.
A second call at 9:30 let parents know that law enforcement was in the building, and at 9:56, parents were told the threat was over, and students were returning to class.
On Wednesday, bomb threats were made at both Springfield and Elm City middle schools.
The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office used K-9 Tank, a Belgian shepherd trained in explosives detection, on both days.
Superintendent Lane Mills thanked students and staff for the way they handled the bomb threats this week.
“These incidents disrupt our school day, cause anxiety and take up valuable instructional time,” he said Thursday afternoon. “As a parent and superintendent, I understand firsthand the impact these threats have on our children and schools. I want to assure you that I have no patience for the safety of our students and staff being threatened.”
After a string of bomb threats earlier this school year, Mills promised severe consequences for students found to be responsible. He recommended expulsion for students who make bomb and shooting threats.
“We are collaborating with law enforcement to identify the individuals who made the threats and will take all available disciplinary and legal action against these individuals,” Mills said.
“I want to thank law enforcement for their hard work and assistance this week. The sheriff’s office now has its own dog specifically trained for these situations, which minimized the frustrating impact this had on our instructional day and helped ease students’ fears quicker. In the past, a dog had to come from another county to assist us.”
False bomb threats and false threats of mass violence are both Class H felonies, which carry a presumptive sentence of five to six months community, intermediate or active punishment for a convict with no prior criminal history under North Carolina’s structured sentencing guidelines.