Marengo High bomb threat was a ‘hoax’

Published 11:18 pm Tuesday, November 2, 2010

DIXON’S MILLS – A bomb treat was called into Marengo County High School Monday at approximately 11 a.m., disrupting class for nearly two hours before students were allowed to return.

Marengo County Superintendent of Education Luke Hallmark said several local volunteer first responders responded to the scene with the sheriff’s department in clearing the scene.

“We really couldn’t have asked for it to go much more smoothly,” Hallmark said expressing relief that the call was a false alarm.

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“(Marengo Principal David) Miller and his staff did an excellent job in getting the students out of the building quickly and safely and the sheriff’s department did a thorough job in making sure the school was safe, and not finding anything, before letting the kids back in.”

Hallmark noted that a student at the school has been identified as the caller who placed the threat and would face disciplinary action. Hallmark said it was unclear as to what the student’s motivation was for placing the call other than, “I think it’s very clear to the student now that a very serious mistake was made on their part.”

Even though the call turned out to be false – and administrators felt the call was initially a hoax – Hallmark noted the importance of following protocol in handling the situation as an emergency.

“Most bomb threat calls turn out to be false, thankfully,” he said. “But you have to treat each one like an emergency, because that’s what it is…you get the kids out. You get the teachers and staff out and make sure everyone is safe. You never take a chance because you never really know.”