Bomb threat clears BHS campus, no suspect known yet

Published 7:05 am Wednesday, April 13, 2016

On Tuesday, Bogalusa police continued their investigation into a bomb threat made Monday afternoon against the city’s high school.

According to high school Principal Lesley McKinley, at about 2:25 p.m. Monday, the police department called the school and said someone had called in an anonymous bomb threat.

McKinley said the school administration immediately launched its crisis plan, and evacuated the building of all employees and students.

“By 2:26 p.m., several additional units from the Bogalusa Police Department as well as one unit from the Louisiana State Police was on the campus of Bogalusa High School,” McKinley said. “The local fire departments from the city of Bogalusa arrived shortly after the initial evacuation to assist.”

McKinley said the school’s plan was followed.

“The administration of Bogalusa High School followed proper protocol in evacuating students and employees to safety,” he said. “There are procedures outlined in our school’s crisis action plan on how to deal with these types of crisis and incidents. Any time there is an alleged threat of any nature made against the school, we always take the threat seriously. Safety is always our number one priority at Bogalusa High School. Anything that threatens the safety of our campus will be handled with the upmost seriousness.”

Police Chief Joe Culpepper said his investigation is still ongoing and he would appreciate the community’s support.

“Without question if someone has any information as to who made this phone call, then by all means call the office,” he said.

Students and staff went to the school’s football stadium, where they remained as police officers and fire department officials performed a sweep of the building. Students remained at the stadium until dismissal.

Despite the scare, Culpepper praised McKinley and school administrators.

“Such as it was, the evacuation went great,” he said. “The school has a crisis action plan and they implemented it and it went very smoothly. Kudos to the school and their staff. The campus was cleared very quickly; the pickup at the stadium went very well.”

McKinley also praised first responders.

“Bogalusa City Schools would like to thank the Bogalusa Police Department, the Bogalusa Fire Department and the state police for their immediate assistance after a bomb threat was received this afternoon,” McKinley said. “After the threat was received, all students and staff were immediately evacuated to a safe location. In an abundance of caution, students remained at the stadium through afternoon dismissal. The police and fire departments preformed a sweep of the campus and declared the campus safe.”

McKinley said the students and faculty also cooperated to ensure that the incident was handled smoothly.

“The administration would also like to thank the BHS students and staff for the safe and orderly evacuation,” he said. “The cooperation and behavior of the students, as well as the supervision provided by the faculty and staff, resulted in a safe afternoon permitting all students to return to their homes at their normal time. We would like to thank the parents for being patient with us during dismissal time.”

On Tuesday, everything was back to normal on campus.