Five schools in southeast Idaho received violent threats this morning, disrupting classes, as police searched the schools. Boise High, Skyview High School in Nampa, Kuna High, and the Twin Falls Christian Academy all were evacuated after bomb threats were called in. Caldwell High School received a threat about a shooter.
Boise High senior A.J. Black was in math class when the fire alarm went off at 10:50 Thursday morning. She says most people stayed calm as teachers and staff led students out of the building and then gathered them on the adjacent football field for the next two hours.
“It was pretty organized, they started it off like it was just a fire drill just to get everyone outside and then we all just moved over here," Black says. "We had to take our backpacks up the front of this line at the football field, but I got my keys and phone out so I could go.”
Black was one of a number of students whose parent or guardian was able to pick them up after the bomb threat. The Boise Police Department searched the school’s three buildings and students’ backpacks with a bomb sniffing dog. Around 1:00 p.m. kids were let back in the school, and classes resumed on a shortened schedule.
According to Lynn Hightower with the BPD, the scare at Boise High was an apparent hoax. An investigation is underway. Hightower says the school district and the BPD are working with other districts and police departments in the state to see if there’s a connection between the threats.
“Hoaxes are not harmless," Hightower says. "Even when it’s a hoax it’s certainly taken very seriously. And someone will be held accountable. It’s a felony whether you’re a juvenile or adult and the penalty is up to five years incarceration. So that’s a severe penalty for a severe crime.”
It's not clear what the motive is behind the threats, but some schools were taking standardized tests today.
Hightower says anyone with information should contact police.
Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio