All clear at Bogalusa High

Published 8:09 am Sunday, March 10, 2013

After a student reported hearing another student claim to have a gun at Bogalusa High School early Friday afternoon, the campus was locked down and the police were called to investigate.

Chief Joe Culpepper said the Bogalusa Police Department responded immediately and conducted a thorough search.

“We found nothing,” he said.

Principal Lesley McKinley said he had to take the threat seriously.

“A student heard someone say they got a gun,” he said. “She quickly reported it to the teacher. We moved to lock down that part of the campus first and before we called the police to assist. Then myself and Child Welfare Supervisor Phlesher Mingo decided to lock down the entire school.

“We did take it serious, and the kids have to understand that we will take it serious.”

That works for the police chief.

Whether one student was playing a joke or another misheard a conversation, Culpepper said he had no problem checking out a possibility that, if real, could have resulted in injury or worse. He would rather take unnecessary action to keep the kids safe than to be sorry, he said.

Culpepper said he does not discourage anyone from reporting a potential crime, especially one that could be dangerous.

McKinley praised the BHS faculty for its response and commended parents “who cooperated with school personnel when they came to check their kids out.”

“They made my job so much easier,” he stressed.

The incident remains under investigation.