Teen taken in custody after bomb threat

Thursday, January 13, 2005

A 14-year-old boy was taken into custody Wednesday after Jackson School District officials received information about a possible bomb on a school bus.

According to assistant superintendent Jim Welker, a concerned parent called with the information shortly after 7 a.m. The bus was taken to the nearest school, Gordonville Elementary, and evacuated.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Jackson Police Department Lt. Chris J. Mouser said members of his department as well as those from the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol and the State Fire Marshal's office responded to the report.

"After investigation, it was determined that there was no threat of any kind on the bus or at any of the schools," Mouser said.

Welker said he believed the student involved in the threat was not associated with that particular bus and that the student's comment may have been taken out of context.

"It started as a rumor. One student told another student who told another and finally a parent heard about it," said Welker. "We appreciate that the parent called, but by the time it got to that point the facts were sketchy."

School officials said Wednesday they planned to notify parents of students on that bus about the incident.

"We do take it seriously but it's important that people don't panic," said Welker. "I don't think there was ever any direct threat against the bus."

Mouser said the juvenile was taken into custody for "statements made involving this incident." No charges have been filed.

Welker said this is the first bomb threat he remembers dealing with in his five years with the school district.

cclark@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 128

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