Boy charged with terroristic threats

A juvenile male Philippi Middle School student has been charged with terroristic threats following Tuesday’s bomb threat at the school, officials said.

The charges were filed Wednesday with the Barbour County Prosecuting Attorney’s office, according to a Philippi Police Department press release issued on Wednesday. Philippi Police Chief Jeff Walters said the names of suspects in juvenile cases are not released.

Neither Walters nor Barbour County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Super would say what the threat consisted of, or where it was discovered.

“I can’t comment on the investigation,” Super said Wednesday. “I’ll just speak in generalities that we are toughening our language and that we will possibly be seeking restitution for lost instructional time.”

Super said he greatly appreciates the support of law enforcement in dealing with the incident.

“Maybe if there are some consequences from the legal side and consequences from the educational side – besides just expulsion – maybe the consequences of it will possibly deter kids from pulling these pranks that hurt everybody,” Super said.

Super has said previously that bomb threats cause students to lose educational time, and necessitate law enforcement and emergency responders being deployed to the school. Investigating a bomb threat can cost a great deal of time and money for both law enforcement and school boards, he said.

The bomb threat on Tuesday caused Philippi Middle School students to be evacuated to an undisclosed location for their safety. Students later returned to school after the facility was cleared of any threats.

Walters said that juvenile cases are filed through the prosecuting attorney’s office. Then, a court hearing date is set. The case could take up to 30 days to be processed.

Tuesday’s incident was the third of its kind in Barbour County already this school year. A bomb threat on Sept. 4 caused Philip Barbour High School to be put on lockdown. A separate threat on Sept. 24 – one which was not officially identified as a bomb threat – prompted the evacuation of students at PBHS. The threats are not believed to be related.

Across the region, Petersburg High School experienced three consecutive bomb threats between Sept. 11-13.