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Third bomb threat made at a Clayton school

The Clayton County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that a bomb threat was made to Riverdale Middle School, on Friday morning.

Deputies and school personnel said the school was searched thoroughly and no signs of a bomb were found. The school then resumed normal operations. However, sheriff’s deputies said they are investigating to determine who made the call, and that they believe it may have been a student.

Friday’s threat is third one at a Clayton County public school since the school year started. In October, Lt. Brian Crisp, of the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office, said two juveniles were charged with making a bomb threat at Charles Drew High School.

The second incident was in February, when another juvenile was arrested for making back-to-back bomb threats to Morrow High School.

In a previous statement, Clayton County Public Schools Chief Human Resource Officer Doug Hendrix said that students calling in bomb threats are not uncommon in the United States, but it is something that the school system takes seriously.

He said the incidents are usually the result of students “being immature and think it’s funny to make prank calls — not realizing the severity of their actions.”

Stating why it is important for school officials to take such incidents seriously, Hendrix recalled an incident at Westside Middle School in Arkansas, on March 24, 1998, in which two students pulled the fire alarm, prompting an evacuation. Once students and faculty members were outside the building, he said, the armed students — two boys, ages 13 and 11 — ambushed them, killing five and injuring 10.

“We don’t want something like that happening,” said Hendrix. “We take threats very seriously.”

“Kids will be kids,” he added. “Students never think [when making prank calls] it will be traced back to them.”

He said Clayton students who are found to be responsible for calling in bomb threats will be suspended from school and will face a tribunal hearing.