Bluffton High School evacuated after bomb threat

September 16, 2013 — By CHET BAUMGARTNER

Two Bluffton High School students were taken into police custody Monday after allegedly making a bomb threat earlier in the day.
Ashley B. Tierney, 19, Bluffton, was arrested for false informing. No bond was set.
The other student — a 16-year-old female — was referred to the probation department, Bluffton Police Chief Tammy Schaffer said.
Bluffton-Harrison Superintendent Wayne Barker said officials and officers did not find a bomb after searching the building.
He said the two students confessed, but he didn’t want to say why they made the threat or what they exactly stated in their note because of the criminal investigation.
A person found the note in a bathroom at about 9:45 a.m., Barker said.
Principal Steve Baker was notified, and he implemented the school’s crisis plan, the superintendent said.
Barker and others went to the school, and officials contacted the Bluffton Police Department, who secured the perimeter and would not allow anyone in or out without specific permission.
Once officers secured the area, students were evacuated to the Bluffton Middle School gym, at about 10:10 a.m., according to the police scanner.
Students stayed at the middle school until about 1:40 p.m., Barker said, and also ate lunch there.
During students’ time there, emergency bomb technicians from Allen County stood by as members of the district’s crisis team and police officers searched the students.
They found nothing, Barker said.
“It could not have been resolved any better,” Barker said. “I certainly want to thank everyone, from Chief Schaffer to the Bluffton Police Department. Our employees and students and administrators and parents handled it extremely well.”
Barker said he doesn’t expect any more threats related to this incident.
“We feel we fully resolved it and have everyone as a party to this,” he said. “From the time we found out about it, we took it very seriously.
“It’s unfortunate that it happened. It cost us almost an entire school day.”
chetb@news-banner.com

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