North Idaho

North Idaho school district plagued by bomb threats

BONNERS FERRY, Idaho - The Boundary County School District has received three bomb threats in the last four weeks, nine threats since last May, and have teachers and students alike saying enough is enough.

The students look at these threats as a disruption; so do the faculty and staff, who are going to have to make up time lost because of the evacuation drills, something they will have to do on their days off.

Instead of leaving campus for lunch, Boundary County high school students now have to stay on school grounds.

North Idaho school district plagued by bomb threats

"We're not going to take a chance. We just can't," Boundary County School District Superintendent Dick Conley said.

Nine bomb threats in the last year, three of those in the last four weeks prompted the change. For students it might have been funny once or twice. Not anymore.

"When they started climbing above three or four into five, seven, eight, it was pretty annoying actually," senior Jared Mendenhall said.

Mendenhall is getting used to the drills.

"We all just kinda get up and walk to the middle school. We've all got it down pretty good since we've all got a lot of practice at it," he said.

Superintendent Conley, on the other hand, is not getting used to the bomb threats and evacuations.

"We want to keep kids in school. We want kids to be safe," he said.

Two threats were against the middle school; six others were against the high school. Most were written in bathroom stalls, while the last threat was called in and shut down all schools in the district, prompting a district wide search.

"It goes fairly quickly, but students are out of the classroom at that time and it's not what the district wants," Conley said.

Police are investigating and community members have donated a reward for information leading to an arrest.

"For a small community, $11,000 is a lot of money," Conley said.

Faculty doesn't think the threats are credible but every precaution has to be taken.

"I would tell them, you know, the joke's kinda run it's course. It really needs to stop. You're really hurting other people. It's costing a lot more money," Mendenhall said.

One thing students and faculty alike agree on: They want this situation resolved as quickly as possible.