By Joyce May
Killeen Daily Herald
GATESVILLE – Terroristic threats at Gatesville High School have cost students 2days of instruction in the past week, and Gatesville Independent School District Superintendent Rick Copp has contacted federal and state law enforcement officials for assistance.
A string of incidents began last Friday when a bomb threat was found written on a girls' bathroom stall. Gun threats were found Monday and Wednesday written on a girls' bathroom stall followed Thursday by another bomb threat found written on a girls' dressing room bathroom stall.
Five threats have been made against the school since Sept. 28 when a bomb threat emptied classes for 2 1/2 hours, school, Copp said.
Copp said the school has had lockdowns, evacuations and building inspections for each incident, but no explosive devices or firearms have been found. Students may have to make up the lost instruction time on bad weather makeup days in the spring or with one to two days of spring break, he said.
"Nothing has been found, and we still don't know who is doing it," Copp said. "It is a very serious crime. Not only have they disrupted school functions, but they have disrupted the functions of law enforcement and other emergency services, and yes, we are treating it very seriously."
GHS Principal Mike Barr has discussed the events and the seriousness of such crimes with his students, Copp said.
Copp said he has contacted the Texas Rangers and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to see what type of assistance the law enforcement agencies can provide if the problem persists, but he has not received a reply from the agencies.
Gatesville Chief of Police Nathan Gohlke said each incident has been investigated cautiously and thoroughly, and he has leads in the case.
The crime is a state jail felony, punishable by up to two years in a state jail facility and up to a $10,000 fine, Gholke said.
In the event the offender is a juvenile, Gholke said, he didn't know if sentencing would be the same, but said it would probably be comparable. In addition, a juvenile offender would face time in the Texas Youth Commission as opposed to a state jail facility.
The school district is matching a $500 reward offered by Crime Stoppers, so a $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the individual or individuals responsible.
Copp has also asked parents and students to contact the school with information regarding the crimes.
"We will prosecute it as far as we can go with it. You bet," Copp said.
Contact Joyce May at firstname.lastname@example.org