SHS bomb scare turns out to be a hoax
A bomb scare at Sparta High School Wednesday morning turned out to be a hoax.
According to Superintendent John Hendricks, at about 8:45 a.m., a student reported to Principal Sam Russ that there was a threat written on a bathroom wall referencing a bomb.
Staff reviewed security camera footage of the hallway where the bathroom is located and identified about a half dozen students who had used the facility that morning.
Meanwhile, it was decided to evacuate the school, Hendricks indicated.
“We decided we have to take this stuff seriously,” said Hendricks, who was out of the district at the time but was in contact with high school staff.
Custodial staff and administrators searched the new gym and after determining it was safe, they let the students occupy the gym while they swept the rest of the building.
Hendricks said by that time, the staff had identified a suspect.
“We were reasonably confident it was going to be a hoax,” said Hendricks.
The suspect’s parents were summoned to the school and the student subsequently confessed, said Hendricks.
The student, who can’t be identified because of his age, has been suspended and Hendricks said he has been referred to juvenile authorities.
Hendricks said it will take more investigation into the situation to see if the student is a special needs pupil and whether the matter is related to his disability in some way.
If it is determined the boy’s actions were related to his disability, the school would have to handle him through other means than expulsion.
The rest of the student body remained in the gym for two hours.
“The staff had nothing but excellent things to say about the way the kids behaved in the gym,” said Hendricks, adding he also was pleased with the staff’s response.