Administration defuses bomb threat hoax


Kristen Sherman

On Nov. 3, Starr’s Mill responded to a bomb threat that was later deemed a hoax. The note was first posted on Snapchat and later found in one of the school computer labs around fourth period. The student has been identified with the help of school administration and the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.

Daniella Vivas, Staff Writer

On Nov. 3, a bomb threat hoax challenged Starr’s Mill’s administrators and resource officer.  Around fourth period, a substitute teacher found a sticky note stating there was a bomb inside a student’s locker somewhere in the school.  It was also identified that a photograph of the note had been posted on SnapChat. 

As soon as this came to attention of principal Allan Leonard, his first responsibility was to ensure the safety of the students and faculty. When deciding what course of action to take, Leonard worked alongside school resource officer Kimberly Henkel. Together they decided that “based on the information in the threatening message [we] could probably deal with it in house without having to move our students,” Leonard said. When asked about the threat, Henkel declined to comment.

In an email sent out to students and parents Thursday afternoon, Leonard explained the situation at hand and made sure to emphasize that “safety is the number one priority of the Starr’s Mill High School faculty and staff.” Also, the email addressed the fact that the note was exposed to social media long before faculty and staff were made aware, and, if the note were to be real, how that could have made all the difference.

“Our youth culture today, unfortunately, when bad things happen, there is a habit to pull out phones and post a picture or record a video of bad things happening before stepping in to stop it,” Leonard said. This is seen all over social media with “30-second fights” accounts that stay true to their name by showing teenagers in fist fights.

As for the student who wrote the note, Starr’s Mill and the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office worked together to identify the culprit with “potential severe school and criminal charges,” Leonard said. The school has already issued its punishment, and the matter has since been turned over to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, who had no additional information when contacted.

No official criminal charges have been announced against the student.