November 22, 2002
Leesburg-- Just before 11 o'clock Friday morning, a Lee County High School student found a bomb threat scribbled on a bathroom wall. This is just the latest in a rash of copy-cat bomb threats in the schools, and officials are bringing in the big guns to stop the pranks.
The bomb squad at the Albany Marine Base was called to Lee County for the third time this week-- at Lee County High School. Again, no bomb was found-- and it appears to be yet another prank.
But, these jokes are not child's play. "They need to understand the kids need to understand when we catch them we are going for the whole thing with them," said Leesburg Police Chief Charles Moore.
The GBI is now doing hand analysis on the note threatening a bomb found Wednesday morning at Lee County Elementary. Police say they have a few tips on today's bomb threat at the High School, and they are confident they will catch the culprits. "This is a felony, serious offense and we are going for the maximum on it."
"These are felony offenses," said Lee Superintendent Dr. Bill Lewis. "So it's not so much what the school is going to do but the court system." In the past, the Lee County School System has suspended students that make such threats. But, the law carries even harsher penalties.
Some of the felony charges attached to these types of bomb threats can carry as much as 10 years in prison. And Lee County leadership says they will seek the maximum punishment in all three bomb threats. Leesburg Police are consulting with the GBI on all three bomb threat cases.
Also, the superintendent's office has given the OK for students to retrieve their cars left at school.
Bookbags in Lee County are now considered a security risk. This week's bomb threats at three Lee County Schools have forced new security measures to be taken to keep kids safe. Only clear or mesh bookbags are allowed now and they're pretty hard to come by. Hall School Supplies in Albany is sold out of the mesh book bags. Since the demand is so high, the store has ordered 100 more.
"We've ordered some, they'll be here Tuesday and we're telling parents to write the name down and will assure them they will get a bag," said Steve Hall of Hall School Supplies.
The bookbags cost around $24.00. But, parents who pre-order will get 10 percent off.
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