Barbour school evacuated after bomb threat

A bomb threat at Belington Middle School Wednesday afternoon prompted the evacuation of all students and personnel at the school.

Dr. Joseph Super, superintendent of Barbour County Schools, said the school was evacuated at approximately 11:45 a.m. because of the threat.

“The school was evacuated and safety plans were put into place,” Super said early in the afternoon. “All students are safe and the school will be searched. The (bomb) dogs are on the way.”

Super said his main goal was to assure the school was safe so the students could be returned to the building.

At approximately 2 p.m., The Inter-Mountain spoke to Keith Rowan, the Belington Police Department chief, who was on patrol outside the school.

He said students from the school were evacuated to Belington Elementary School.

Rowan said the Belington Police Department, Barbour County Sheriff’s Department and West Virginia State Police responded to the incident. Barbour County sheriffs were reportedly interviewing students and state officials were en route to the middle school with their bomb dog.

Rowan said the threat was identified as a note written on a stall in a women’s school bathroom.

Belington Elementary School officials declined to comment on the situation.

Barbour County Sheriff John Hawkins told the Inter-Mountain last week that there have been a string of bomb threats in Barbour County this school year. The threat Wednesday will increase the total threats in the 2012-2013 school year to five, and threats in surrounding counties raise the grand total to seven.

In September, Philip Barbour High School students were evacuated and in January all county schools were evacuated due to a note that threatened the entire area. Philippi Elementary School was targeted March 19 and Philippi Middle School was targeted March 20.

Randolph County students at Elkins High School and Midland Elementary School were evacuated March 20, and Lewis County High School students were released following a threat at the school March 21.