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Student charged with making bomb threats at Kennett Middle School

11/05/2014 07:31PM ● Published by Lev

By John Chambless

Staff Writer

A 12-year-old student at Kennett Middle School has been charged after they admitted to making two bomb threats at the school in September and October.

New Garden Township Police reported on Oct. 30 that the student, whose identity has been withheld, admitted to making the threats, which resulted in two searches by a canine team.

On Sept. 30 at about 2:34 p.m., police said, they came to the school after a threatening word was found written on the wall of a girl's bathroom. Police said the word was a nonspecific threat, which they described as “an alarming word or phrase with no specific detail.” The word was found and reported by a 12-year-old at the school. Police searched the school after it was empty at the end of the school day.

On Oct. 10 at about 2:34 p.m., New Garden Police responded again to the school after the same student reported finding another threatening phrase on the same bathroom wall. An administrator who questioned the student said they admitted to writing both the word and the phrase in both incidents to indicate a bomb threat. The pen used to write the messages was recovered from the student.

After a criminal investigation ended on Oct. 29, police referred the student to the Chester County Juvenile Court. The student is charged with two counts of making terroristic threats, two counts of threatening to use weapons of mass destruction, and two counts of institutional vandalism. The student is in the custody of family and is not presently allowed on school property.

New Garden Police reported that after these two incidents, and similar incidents in the past year, a policy is being adopted to deter future threats and coordinate a response. At the request of school administrators, New Garden Townsihp Police set up a meeting between school officials and the FBI to draft an approach to keep students safe and minimize disruption at the school in case of future threats. The Kennett Consolidated School District will announce the protocols when they are complete, according to New Garden Township police.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, e-mail jchambless@chestercounty.com.

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