McKinley Elementary receives bomb threat

LISBON – Four hundred McKinley Elementary School students were taken to the junior-senior high school after a bomb threat was found scrawled on a bathroom wall Friday afternoon.

No bomb was found by village police officers and firefighters, who searched the school for nearly an hour.

The evacuation plan was enacted after an elementary school student discovered a possible bomb threat written on a restroom wall about 1:30 p.m. The message was “one o’clock boom,” according to police Chief Mike Abraham.

School Superintendent Don Thompson said the district’s emergency response plan calls for immediate evacuation whenever there is a bomb threat, which is what they did. Buses were brought in to transport students to the junior-senior high school auditorium, where they waited for their parents to arrive.

Abraham said after the students and staff were gone, his officers and firefighters searched the school, “looking for odd objects, things that don’t belong, and we found none.”

Although the police department has no immediate leads, Abraham said they intend to review school security video, especially from the cameras that have a direct view of restroom entrances.

Abraham was impressed by the school district’s emergency response plan. “I want to give them credit for getting that many buses there so quickly … It went smoothly and it went according to plan,” he said.

The bomb threat was the third such incident in Columbiana County this week. On Monday, a bomb threat resulted in the evacuation of Beaver Local High School, and East Palestine High School was put on alert Wednesday after some parents reported a student had made some threats.

Abraham was asked if the McKinley Elementary School threat might be the work of a copycat who was aware of the media coverage of the other incidents. “That would be my guess, my first assumption,” he said.