LAURINBURG — A 16-year-old student is in police custody in connection with a bomb threat that evacuated Scotland High School Tuesday morning.
Police say the unnamed teenager, a student at Scotland High School, could be charged with making a false bomb report in a public building — a felony.
School officials received an email at about 8:45 a.m. Tuesday indicating that a bomb had been placed at the high school, according to Meredith Bounds, public information officer for the school system.
Bounds said the students and staff were evacuated to the school’s athletic fields while emergency personnel, including city police, firefighters and sheriff’s deputies, searched the buildings and campus.
“It was determined by law enforcement that this was a hoax, one of many that were sent to different facilities throughout the nation today,” the school system said in a statement.
Students returned to classes at about 10:45 a.m. Bounds said the high school operated on its regular schedule for the remainder of the day. Scotland High School has about 1,500 students.
Parents were informed of the threat through the school’s automated calling system.
Larry Johnson, Scotland assistant superintendent for auxiliary services, said there were number of other schools and nursing homes across the country that also received an email threat on Tuesday, including Sanderson High School in Raleigh, which was placed on lockdown while police investigated a bomb threat there.
Wake County schools officials said that several students and staff received the bomb threat via text message shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Sanderson High School was evacuated and students and staff were moved to the football stadium as police investigated the threat. No bomb was found.
“We were not sure of the threat here, but we wanted to take the necessary precautions,” Johnson said. “Threats to our schools and students are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.”
Police Chief Darwin “Duke” Williams said it does not appear that the local incident was connected to any other.
“In the course of our investigation we were able to determine where this e-mail originated from and at that time we determined who was logged into the computer down at the high school,” Williams said. “We have a subject in custody and we will continue in our investigation at this time.”