Parent says school bomb scare was 'handled completely wrong'

Parent says school bomb scare was 'handled completely wrong'
(Source: Wanya Reese)
(Source: Wanya Reese)

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - A parent of two James Island Charter High School students believes the way a bomb scare was handled at the school Monday was done 'completely wrong.'

"It makes me feel very insecure," says the parent, who asked not to be identified. "It makes me feel like they don't have a system in place for situations like that."

A bomb threat had a sea of emergency vehicles in the parking lot of James Island Charter High School, Monday. An even larger line of parents were stuck waiting outside the school, wondering what was happening and where some of their kids were.

"People were extremely panicky," says the parent. "I knew nothing about the whereabouts of my 14-year-old son."

The parent says she didn't get a call about the evacuation or the bomb threat until 7 o'clock Monday night when a recorded voice message from the school played on her answering machine.

She says the message was waiting for her after she picked up her son who was practicing on the back football field next to the school until 6:45 pm.

"I don't think they took enough precaution," says the parent. "The fact that there were children on school property continuing the practices and there was no phone call to let anyone know what was going on."

James Island Charter High School administrators say they got a call after school hours Friday about a student who overheard kids "whispering about stuff."

It was at that point they say they began following emergency guidelines laid out in the school's handbook.

The first step is to verify where the threat came from and if the threat is found to be real, the second step is to immediately call the Charleston police in to take over.

The administration says the school's resource officer investigated the claim and had enough evidence to call police Monday morning.

Additional reports from the Charleston Police department say officers heard from the school's assistant principal that he had spoken to the suspects who told him they had had they conversation but were not serious about bringing bombs to school.

One of the suspects told the assistant principal the other had been taking notes down about the conversations in a blue notebook.

The report says officers found the notebook and inside came across a page that "goes on to list items needed such as bombs and poison, lists of student groups they don't like as well as a 'Plan' to execute."

Charleston police have charged a 14-year-old boy and girl with conspiracy to commit a felony as a result of the bomb threat. Officers found no explosives at the school, or at students' homes in the searches they conducted.

However, officers did confiscate the students' cell phones and computers for further investigation.

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