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Student could face terrorist threat charge after bomb threat evacuation

Fulton Middle School student said it was a 'joke'

Fulton Middle School evacuated after bomb threat

FULTON, Mo. - UPDATE 2 p.m.: A Fulton Middle School student could be charged with a felony after being accused of making a terroristic threat.

"Anytime you make a threat that affects 10 or more people or causes a building to be evacuated then that is making a terrorist threat," Maj. Roger Rice, Fulton's deputy police chief, said.

The student allegedly told his class he placed a bomb in the school's library. The teacher notified the school district, which contacted police.

The student apparently recanted his story, saying he intended for it to be a "joke."

"We didn’t take it as a joke," Dr. Jacque A. Cowherd, the school district's superintendent, said. "Police didn’t take it as a joke. All the emergency services didn’t think it was a joke. I suspect today by this time the student was detained, removed from school and detained by police so I think that that child may have a different perspective of his jokes now. 

"Shortly after that, the student recanted the threat but by the same token a whole classroom of kids were scared and had heard the threat," Cowherd said. "We continued with our protocols and after the police got there and searched the prime area where the bomb was said to be we let kids back in."

The Police Department said the school did a good job getting the students to safety outside of the building. 

"After it was all over, the students were taken into the gymnasium," Rice said. "The principal and I spoke with them to ensure them they were safe. I also wanted to make sure that the kids understand the school building is only as safe as the kids make it. The administration can only do so much. If they don’t know about something, they can’t deal with it."

Academically, the student can face punishment ranging from a 180-day suspension to expulsion. Cowherd said it was too early to comment on the severity of the punishment. 

"It’s a tough call withholding an education from a child," Cowherd said.

You can read the entire release about the threat from Fulton Public Schools below:

UPDATE 10:45 am: Fulton police said the threat occurred when a student announced in a full classroom that there was a bomb in the building's library. 

Police said everyone was evacuated and the building was searched. 

Officers said it was quickly determined that the student made the statement as a "joke." The student was taken into custody and turned over to juvenile authorities accused of making a terrorist threat, police said. 

Police said the school personnel did an exceptional job of moving the students out of the building in an orderly fashion. 

No one was in any danger at any time, officers said.

ORIGINAL STORY: According to an email sent out by Karen Snethen, Fulton Public Schools' director of public relations and professional development, a Fulton Middle School student said a bomb was placed in Fulton Middle School.

The email said that the building has been cleared and that all students and staff are safe.

The threat has been cleared and students and staff are back in the building, but police are still on scene.

Stay with us for the latest updates.


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