SOUTH WAYNE—The Black Hawk School in South Wayne was closed for four hours on Monday, Nov. 7, as local authorities investigated a bomb threat.
School superintendent Willy Chambers said the principal of that building, Jerry Mortimer, notified Chambers and the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department at 8:30 a.m. that he was aware of a bomb threat at the high school and elementary school building. The district staff evacuated the students from the building to a nearby church.
Chambers said it took less than five minutes to evacuate the building.
“I think the kids were dealt with in a safe, quick and effective manner,” Chambers said. “The students and staff did a great job to evacuate without causing any more disruptions or panic.”
The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department, South Wayne Fire Department and Green County EMS responded to the scene to conduct a search of the entire building. Chambers said no evidence of a bomb was found. Vehicles on the school premises were also checked.
Students and staff were readmitted to the building at 12:30 p.m. The students ate a late lunch and then assembled in the gym for a debriefing.
“We wanted to talk to the students about the situation. A bomb threat is a very serious thing,” Chambers said. “Then classes resumed as normal.”
Chambers said he will discuss the missed class time with the district school board policy committee on Thursday, Nov. 10.
“There is a possibility that time will have to be made up,” Chambers said.
A deputy of the sheriff’s department told Chambers that the bomb threat is a felony offense and the severity of the punishment for the crime depends on the child’s age. If the culprit is 17 or older, he or she could face formal charges in court. If a student is determined to have made the bomb threat, he school will suspend the him or her pending an expulsion hearing.
“It’s a serious offense,” Chambers said.
Chambers was reluctant to release more details about the incident because of the ongoing investigation.
Chambers said he thought the responding officials did an excellent job assisting the school in such a troubling situation.