Police believe school bomb threat a prank

By Emily Crowe

CNJ staff writer

ecrowe@cnjonline.com

Police believe a bomb threat called in Tuesday morning at Clovis High School was a prank.

Students were moved to the school gymnasium while the school was swept for explosives by police and school personnel, according to school officials.

The sweep was completed around 9:30 a.m. and no explosives were found.

In an email, Capt. Patrick Whitney of the Clovis Police Department wrote it sounded like juveniles who called in the bomb threat and police determined the call came from a blocked/unlisted number.

chs“We will take a report on a hoax bomb threat, but the phone number was blocked/unlisted and we have no leads at this point, so it will be inactivated until or unless any leads develop at a later date,” Whitney wrote.

CHS Principal Wayne Marshall said school faculty were having a meeting in the main office when a secretary received a call about a bomb around 7:45 a.m.

Marshall said bomb threat protocol was enacted immediately, including notifying the superintendent and local police.

School officials and Clovis police officers initially searched the gymnasium to secure a place for students to stay.

Students were allowed into the school until the last morning bell at 8:25 a.m., then were immediately evacuated to the gym while officials swept the rest of the campus.

As each building was secured, students were allowed back to their classrooms, Marshall said.

Marshall said the timing of the threat and the morning period of transition before school started made it so there was no way to communicate to the entire school that an evacuation was necessary.

“There was really no reason to cause a panic or alarm,” he said. “If everyone was in class, it would’ve been a little different. We could’ve evacuated immediately.”

Superintendent Terry Myers said the district’s protocol was followed.

“What we normally do when we get something like this,” he said, “we’ll inform the administrative council and Board of Education, and Cannon Air Force Base initially. Then we follow our own investigative procedures to make sure everything is fleshed out, involving the police.”

This is the first bomb threat of the year, according to Myers, and the district will try to prosecute any individual responsible for the threat if enough evidence is collected.

“We’re researching phone records and phone numbers as best we can and trying to give the police some clues as to where to look,” Myers said.