Bomb threats continue to plague area

Police believe the students responsible for Wednesday’s bomb threats at Randolph and Barbour County schools have been identified.

Officials confirmed Thursday that an Elkins High School student is believed to be responsible for Wednesday’s bomb threat targeting EHS and Midland Elementary School, while a Philippi Middle School student confessed to being culpable for the bomb threat at Philippi Middle School.

The individual behind Tuesday’s bomb threat aimed at Philippi Elementary School has not yet been identified.

Classes were canceled at Elkins High School and Midland Elementary School Wednesday after a bomb threat was discovered via a suspicious note written on a bathroom wall at EHS at approximately 8 a.m.

Elkins Police Chief H.R. White said Thursday that one EHS student has been taken into custody, while the department continues to investigate another student’s involvement in the threat.

“One individual was referred to the juvenile authorities and she has been charged, and there is another individual that may have been involved, pending further investigation,” White said.

Randolph County Superintendent of Schools Terry George said Thursday that he could not comment on any disciplinary action taken against the EHS student.

“That is a student disciplinary record and I am not permitted to discuss anything that is related to a student record,” George said.

The superintendent said the county was able to implement its emergency operations plan successfully.

“Students at Elkins High School, Midland Elementary School and the technical center were evacuated in a timely manner,” George said. “We organized a dismissal for students from the evacuation site, and students who are not bus-transferred were released into the custody of their parents.”

“Unfortunately, the incident involved a lot of law enforcement and a lot of school resources,” the superintendent added. “It’s definitely a tremendous interruption to the educational process.”

Also on Thursday, Barbour County Sheriff John Hawkins confirmed that a student who attends Philippi Middle School admitted to writing the note that spurred a schoolwide evacuation and search by bomb-detecting dogs Wednesday morning.

Hawkins said Philippi Police Chief Jeff Walters is the investigating officer in the case.

“Yesterday evening, Chief Walters got a confession from one of the students at Philippi Middle School that was involved in the threat yesterday,” Hawkins said. “The investigation is ongoing.”

The student, whose identity has not been released, only admitted to being involved in the Philippi Middle School bomb threat – not the bomb threat discovered Tuesday at Philippi Elementary School.

Students were evacuated from the middle school at approximately 9:30 a.m. Wednesday after a handwritten note was discovered in the school. The coast was cleared by West Virginia State Police bomb-detecting dogs Wednesday afternoon, and students were permitted to return to school at 1:30 p.m.

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