Plot to bomb school reported

Officials say bomb was never at high school

Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Police are investigating reports alleging a 15-year-old student discussed damaging Juneau-Douglas High School with a homemade bomb.

"It's too early in the investigation to say whether there will be any arrests," Juneau Police Capt. Tom Porter said Monday. Interviews are continuing as the investigation into the allegations continues, he said.

Juneau School Superintendent Peggy Cowan said the possibility of bomb talk was revealed while a student was being disciplined on another matter.

"There was never a bomb at the school," she said. "There was never a threat of a bomb called in to the school."

Police said a high school staff member reported on May 10 that a 15-year-old student had stolen a set of keys from a teacher. The set included personal keys and keys to the school.

According to police Sgt. David Campbell, officers contacted the juvenile and recovered the keys. At that time, high school staff members requested that theft charges be filed against the juvenile.

While investigating the situation, police learned of the allegation that the student, along with a couple of friends, had discussed damaging the school with a homemade bomb. The keys were taken to gain access to the building, Campbell reported.

Cowan said she didn't know of anything in the investigation that would have pointed to the student's motivation.

"We've worked with the staff so they are very aware of the situation," she said. "The administration at the high school has had a very thorough response to something that wasn't a direct threat."

Juneau School Board member Julie Morris said she is "absolutely" concerned about the allegations. "I really hope (the police) can get to the bottom of it and resolve the issue. Priority No. 1 is that our schools are safe."

Morris said it has been a difficult school year. Earlier this year, students and other members of the community petitioned district and city official to address racism on the campus.

Police are asking anyone with information about the threats to call them at 586-0600.

• Tony Carroll can be reached at tony.carroll@juneauempire.com.



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