Bomb threat proves false at Western school district in Barry

UPDATED: September 6 at 10:20 a.m.

KHQA's Brooke Hasch is meeting with a few local parents Tuesday to get their take on how the bomb scare situation was handled in the school district.

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There were reports early Thursday that a bomb threat had been taken place at Western CUSD #12 in Barry, Ill.

Sheriff Paul Petty confirmed that at approximately 5:15 a.m. the Pike County Sheriff's Department received an anonymous phone call from the Barry, Ill. area regarding an alleged verbal threat to a bus and the school. Upon receiving the report, three officers were dispatched to the community to validate the information.

Although the information was vague and ambiguous in nature, officers were able to identify the person responsible for such communications and immediately separate that person from the school.

A little investigating revealed that the communicator was the recipient of bullying and responded verbally with comments taken as threatening in nature to the school and the public.

Officials were able to communicate with the school prior to any school movement including bus routes. This enabled officers to immediately remove the idea of any threat until such person could be positively identified. Prior to any school activity, deputies were able to identify the person responsible and intervened. Upon doing so, school movement continued as normal.

Obviously, our first intentions were to identify an actual act or second step to the threat. Officers identified early in the investigation that such an act was not possible to have occurred at that time and therefore, no actual threat occurred to the school or in the community. The second step was to secure any threat prior to movement by the school. Upon identifying the person, officers immediately communicated with the school so that they might return to their normal operations. With great assistance from school administration, our office was able to not only rule out an actual threat, but separate the ideal of a threat from the school so that they might return to their normal schedule, said Sheriff Paul F. Petty.