Lewis County schools cleared after bomb threat

A Lewis County High School student could be facing charges after authorities alleged the student was responsible for a school-clearing incident Thursday.

Sgt. C.M. Alton of the West Virginia State Police said the 15-year-old juvenile was interviewed by the high school’s Prevention Resource Office, Sgt. Ed Browning, shortly after a note warning of a bomb at the high school was found.

“This copycat stuff off of TV, it’s just snowballing,” Alton said. “The kids need to know there are consequences for their actions.”

The note was discovered around 11:40 a.m., said Lewis County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joe Mace. The high school students were evacuated and sent to the nearby armory while authorities searched the school. In addition to the State Police, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department and the Weston Police Department responded to the high school.

“We had excellent cooperation from law enforcement,” Mace said. “They were on the scene right away.”

Mace said it was the first bomb threat at a Lewis County school in several years.

“Most of the times, it’s just a joke or prank,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there who would do this stuff. You can’t leave the kids in there.”

All Lewis County schools were dismissed at 1:30 p.m., Mace said.

Nothing was discovered inside Lewis County High School, and Mace said after-school and evening activities were allowed to proceed.

Thursday’s event was the fourth bomb threat incident at an area school this week. Students were evacuated from the Philippi Elementary School on Tuesday, and police responded to threats found at Elkins High School and Philippi Middle School on Wednesday. The threat at Elkins High School prompted the evacuation of two other nearby buildings.

The authorities believe they have found the persons responsible for the events at Elkins High School and Philippi Middle School.

The threat at the elementary school remains under investigation.