Low attendence after bomb threat


A bomb threat left in a restroom stall at Keaau High School led to about a third of the school’s students not coming to classes on Friday, the day specified in the threat, according to Principal Dean Cevallos.

Meanwhile, Hawaii police investigating the threat are planning to send student handwriting samples to analysts in Oahu to try to find the culprit.

“We had a good amount of kids stay home. It didn’t look the same, the campus,” Cevallos said Wednesday.

Additionally, about eight or nine teachers weren’t in school Friday, although many of them were out attending conferences that had been planned, he said.

Last month, a janitor found the threat handwritten on top of a toilet paper dispenser, prompting the school to adopt tighter security measures, including random locker checks and a strict policy against students leaving backpacks unattended.

“There’s going to be a bomb at KHS 2/15/13. Hint: It’ll be in a locker,” the note said.

Cevallos said the school performed locker checks all week long last week, such that every locker had been searched before Friday. The school also brought in an additional security guard for the day.

“We did all we could, going through the lockers,” Cevallos said. “We knew when they (the students) came onto campus (on Friday) that there was nothing in the lockers we had to be alarmed about. The day came and went, and nothing happened.”

Cevallos added that the school has also reported a secondary threat found written on a door at the school, which appears to make reference to the first threat.

“It said ‘I hope they do blow up the school,’” he said. “It has been reported, because we have to take it seriously.”

Cevallos said police are continuing to investigate the threats. A security camera captured several students entering the bathroom around the time the message was believed to have been written, and those students have been asked to voluntarily supply handwriting samples.

“They’re planning on sending (the samples) to Oahu to be looked at,” he said.

 

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