COPPERAS COVE — Copperas Cove Independent School District received a ninth bomb threat late Tuesday for one of its campuses and closed all schools for today.
At 10 p.m., the district’s spokeswoman, Olga Peña, said the district made the decision to close every campus for the day after a ninth bomb threat was reported to the district.
Pena wouldn’t say which school received the bomb threat, but the district closed all schools because of the threat.
At a Tuesday night school board meeting, Superintendent Joseph Burns said staff is investigating all of its options for stopping the recent bomb threats.
“All the cards are on the table,” he said.
Burns said the district has contacted the FBI about the bomb threats and notified the state about possibly ending school a week before the scheduled start of winter break.
One option is to leave a week early for winter break and then make the time up by coming back a week early or eliminating spring break.
“Something that I don’t think the kids understand is that this time is going to be made up,” said Joan Manning, district board president.
The state has not offered an opinion on taking school days to deal with the issue, said Burns, but it will if the district decides to do so.
Manning and Burns spoke after Jim Fisher, a Copperas Cove parent, asked if the school district has addressed ways to stop the bomb threats and what obstacles parents should expect.
“The person making these threats is successful with every evacuation,” Fisher said.
Eight bomb threats in the past six days caused evacuations at Copperas Cove High School and Copperas Cove and S.C. Lee Junior High schools. Two of the evacuations occurred Tuesday afternoon.
On Monday, the Copperas Cove Police Department announced that six people were detained in connection with the threats and charged with third-degree felonies.
In his reply to Fisher, Burns said a seventh student was detained in connection with an incident Tuesday, despite the police department not releasing any information about the arrest.
Cove police and district officials are cooperating to apprehend those responsible, Burns said.
“We are aware that there is a group of students that have made a game out of it, where the winner is the last person to get arrested,” he said. “Now we are trying to design the trap that will catch them.”
Burns asked any parent who knows a child who may be involved in the bomb threats to contact Cove police.
The Crime Stoppers tip line is offering a $2,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible. The district is offering an additional $1,000 reward.
The board met in closed session for more than 45 minutes to discuss security issues involving the bomb threats.
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7474