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Bomb threat note found in backpack

by Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

A brief scare occurred at the Platte City Middle School on Wednesday morning after a bomb threat note was found with a student.

Parents of students at the school received a letter last Wednesday from, Terry Hart, principal of the school, outlining that a student had a bomb threat note and an investigation by law enforcement determined there was not danger to students or staff.

Platte City police were called to the school at 8:21 a.m. last Wednesday to investigate the note.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Harpst said the note was found in a girl student's backpack after a student reported the note to the principal at the middle school.

“It was poor judgment on the student's part,” said Harpst. “The note was not left out, someone reported it to the principal and it was discovered by the student resource officer.”

Harpst said the school was not locked down when the threat was discovered and officers quickly realized it was only a note.

According to Richard Sayles, Platte City police chief, two students were in in-school suspension and were passing notes when the student decided she wanted to get out of school and wrote the note.

Sayles said the two students who were in suspension were ages 12 and 14 and had no intention of making a bomb.

“We knew right off they were just passing notes,” said Sayles.

The letter also indicated the student would be facing discipline for the threat.

“The district will be executing the student discipline policy as it relates to this offense,” states the letter.

According to the district's discipline policy the actions could fall under the portion called “False Alarms” which includes “tampering with emergency equipment, setting off false alarms, making false reports; communicating a threat or false report for the purpose of frightening, disturbing, disrupting, or causing the evacuation or closure of school property.”

A first offense carries a punishment of one of the following: “restitution, principal/student conference, detention, in-school suspension, 1-180 days out-of-school suspension, or expulsion.”

A subsequent offense would include: “restitution, in-school suspension, 1-180 days out-of-school suspension, or expulsion.”

The letter that the district sent home with students also said, “Please be assured that the district takes threats of any kind very seriously and will implement all steps to insure the safety of students and staff. Your child's safety is priority one for our school district.”

“As parents, I encourage you to use this time to talk with our children about their school and having a safe learning environment. Make sure to emphasize the importance of coming forward with any information at any time that causes them to question their safety or that of their fellow students, teachers, or school employees.”


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