COPPERAS COVE — Students at Copperas Cove Junior High School were evacuated Thursday morning after a written bomb threat, the second one at the school this week.
Students were escorted to the school’s football stadium around 9:30 a.m., after the threat on a girls’ bathroom wall was discovered. Law enforcement, including five bomb-sniffing dogs from Fort Hood, swept the building, which was cleared at 11:30 a.m.
Students returned to class for the remainder of the school day.
Thursday’s incident was the third bomb threat the Cove district responded to this week.
On Tuesday, a cheerleading group reported a written bomb threat on a bathroom wall after classes ended for the day at the junior high school.
That threat was investigated, the school was cleared, and students and their belongings were thoroughly searched the following day.
Copperas Cove High School was evacuated Wednesday and students were sent home for the day after a handwritten threat was discovered on a girls’ bathroom wall.
Speaking to the junior high school’s students as they waited to return to their classes Thursday, Principal Randy Troub urged anyone with information about the threats to come forward.
“We need to catch those who are disrupting our day,” Troub said. “This is a very, very serious situation.”
Sgt. Kevin Keller, a Copperas Cove police spokesman, said all three incidents were filed with the department, and officers and detectives have spent multiple hours investigating each incident.
“This is a third-degree felony because they involve public schools,” he said.
Olga Peña, the school district’s spokesperson, said Superintendent Joseph Burns issued a $1,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the threats.
In addition, Crime Stoppers doubled its traditional award of $1,000 to $2,000. Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at (254) 547-1111 or go to covecrimestoppers.org.
Peña said while there are no cameras inside the schools’ bathrooms, there are cameras outside, and the footage would be reviewed.
In the wake of the multiple threats at both schools, security at the campuses likely will be increased. Peña said security at the high school was tightened following Wednesday’s evacuation, and district officials met Thursday to discuss similar measures at the junior high school.
Contact Chris McGuinness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.