Barbour County High Gets Heat from Bomb Threat

By: Erica Proffer Email
By: Erica Proffer Email

One county high school could start re-thinking its evacuation plan. That's after getting heat from local safety officials in the wake of a bomb threat.

Barbour County High School is just one of hundreds across the nation that received bomb threats this week, following the Virginia Tech shootings.

Some local safety officials say it wasn't handled properly.

After this week's school shooting in Virginia, leaders from the Clayton Police Department, the Clayton Fire Department and the Barbour County Sheriff's Office say the Barbour County School System should step-up their emergency communication procedures.

On Thursday, News 4 reported on a bomb threat at Barbour County High School.

Fortunately, it turned out to be a hoax, but the local emergency responders say the students weren't evacuated properly.

"Our primary goal is to see that we work together to ensure they are safe and not have to play catch up if something does happen" says Chief Deputy Eddie Ingram of the Barbour County Sheriff's Office.

"I'd like to see a plan in place where if we come to a bomb threat like that, or any threat at the school, that we'd have better cooperation with the school," says Clayton Chief of Police, Robert Patrick.

Principal David Hobdy says the school followed the state approved bomb threat procedure, moving the students’ 250-yards away from the buildings.

"The kids were very safe in yesterday's event. They were 250 yards away from the school, but the school has to understand the operations of the law enforcement agency, and the law enforcement agency has to understand the operation of the schools. So, I welcome the chance to work cooperatively with the Sheriff Department and coming up with the comprehensive crisis management plan," explained Principal Hobdy.

School leaders say they cannot take the students off campus unless there is substantial evidence they are in danger.

However, safety leaders say next time it may be too late if you wait for something to happen.

School leaders say they hold monthly evacuation drills and they will be inviting the local law enforcement agencies to attend.

Sheriff's deputies say they expect to catch the person behind Thursday’s threat.

Officials say they will be prosecuted with not only the felony of making a bomb threat, but they could also face charges of making terrorists threats.

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