Police: SHS catches student making bomb threats
BARRE — A student suspected of leaving a series of threats to bomb schools in central Vermont was arrested at Spaulding High School on Wednesday.
The 15-year-old student, whose name police did not release, allegedly left another threatening message in the men’s bathroom at about 7:30 a.m., according to Barre police. That was the seventh threat made against schools in central Vermont, including Spaulding, other Barre schools and U-32 in East Montpelier.
From the most recent message, police were able to identify a suspect, according to police.
Tom Sedore, principal at Spaulding, said faculty played a pivotal role in identifying the student responsible for making the threats.
“The staff, who we had asked for help from, and one of our teachers were quite diligent about getting to us quickly,” said Sedore.
The student was taken into custody and cited at the school Wednesday, said Police Chief Tim Bombardier.
According to a news release from Bombardier, the student admitted to being responsible for the messages.
The student is scheduled to be arraigned today in Barre juvenile court.
Bombardier said it is up to Washington County State’s Attorney Tom Kelly whether the student is arraigned on all seven counts of making false public alarms. On Wednesday, Kelly said he could not discuss the charges since the suspect is a juvenile.
According to state statute, the first offense of making false public alarms carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison or a $5,000 fine. For a second or subsequent offense, the maximum sentence is five years in prison or a $10,000 fine.
The student also faces expulsion from school, said Bombardier. Sedore said he would also like to see the student pay for the costs to the school incurred each time threats were made. Sedore said Spaulding has spent about $1,000 on “robo calls” alerting students and teachers of an emergency.
Sedore said he asked Kelly to include the costs to the school in the conditions associated with charges against the student.
Sedore said the arrest finally will give relief to the school community, teachers and students alike, who have become frustrated and anxious over the number of classes and after-school activities that were canceled as a precaution after the threats.
“It’s a huge relief to our teachers, our staff and our students who have been very good during this unfortunate event,” said Sedore.
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