COPPERAS COVE — High school students evacuated campus Wednesday after a student found a bomb threat on a bathroom wall.
“This threat was a specific date and time,” said Olga Peña, Copperas Cove Independent School District spokeswoman. “When there is a date and time, we have to take such threats more seriously.”
The handwritten threat on a girl’s bathroom wall at Copperas Cove High School was discovered about 11 a.m. Wednesday and said a bomb would explode at 12:05 p.m., officials said.
Students were out of the building by 11:30 a.m. and the majority were off campus by noon, as Fort Hood canine units entered the building and searched for explosives. By 2:45 p.m., nothing was found, and the building was cleared.
“The district is very adamant about safety,” said Peña about the decision to send students home for the day. The district also knew an investigation of the building would take hours, she said.
Family members of students, such as Yvette Vallejo, were glad the district didn’t hesitate to let parents know about the incident and released children for the day despite the long line of traffic that formed around the high school.
“Better safe than sorry,” said Vallejo, who was picking up her niece. “You got to protect the students.”
Vallejo was upset someone would make a bomb threat — a sentiment shared by some of the students.
“I am in (Advanced Placement) classes, so this is going to put me behind,” said Amanda Hocevar, a 16-year-old junior. “People are freaking out, and this is ridiculous.”
Amanda’s friend, Austin Lentz, also a 16-year-old junior, said the bomb threat didn’t bother him.
“It doesn’t really affect me,” he said. “It gives me more time to relax before going to work.”
Cove Junior High threat
Neither student knew Copperas Cove Junior High faced a similar situation after a bomb threat was discovered Tuesday evening after classes concluded for the day.
A cheerleading group reported the bomb threat, which was written on a wall at Copperas Cove Junior High, Peña said. Those students left the campus right away and investigators responded. That threat also had a specific date and time for an incident to occur.
After clearing the building Tuesday night, a canine unit from Dallas responding to the junior high checked students’ belongings Wednesday morning as they arrived at school.
All students were safe and in class by 8:25 a.m. at the junior high school, Peña said. Classes proceeded like normal, just as they will at Copperas Cove High School today.
While the district will handle any threat seriously, Peña said she hopes the district doesn’t have any copy cats. She encouraged students, parents or residents with any information about the incidents to call Copperas Cove police or Crime Stoppers at (254) 547-1111. A reward is offered for information leading to an arrest.
“This cost educational time, it causes panic, and it cost money,” Peña said. “If anyone knows anything that is connected to this, we want them to report it.”
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7474