Bomb Threat From AirDrop Leads to Early Release

 On Monday, May 1, students and staff at the high school were put on a hold due to a bomb threat from 1:15 to 1:45 p.m. Promptly after the hold ended students were told to exit the building and go straight to their cars or buses. As students were walking out, no one was allowed in the Freshman Center and all after school activities were canceled.

   “Students in the immediate vicinity were immediately moved away from the area to the south commons of the Freshmen Center. This occurred around 1:40 [p.m.]. At approximately 1:45 [p.m.]  the decision and announcement to dismiss the school was made,” Dr. Larry Veracco, Superintendent, said in an email released to all Lake Central School Corporation families at 2:42 p.m.

   Earlier in the day a student received an airdrop message stating “Bombing the school it will go off soon as the end of the day bell rings. This is not a joke.” Immediately after the airdrop was sent, the student brought it to a teacher’s attention who then told administration. Administration then got the Lake County Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) involved to try and find the person who airdropped the message. 

   “At around 1:15 [p.m.], the bomb sniffing dog arrived and after searching the perimeter of the classroom where the threat was received, the dog entered the exact classroom and indicated on the same cabinet in that room two separate times,” Dr. Veracco said.

   At the same time, the Advanced Placement Chemistry test was ongoing and had to be interrupted. These students must now retake their test on a later date in May.

   Later, even after all of the other students were released, students from the classroom where the threat was made and surrounding classes chose to stay until 4 p.m. to collect their belongings from the classroom. 

   A follow up email sent at 3:23 p.m. by Dr. Veracco assured families that there was no bomb. Chemicals from old cameras were believed to have caused the bomb sniffing dog to alert. Principal Erin Novak emailed separately to inform families that the school had been officially secured by police. The high school returned to their normal schedule the following morning, May 2.

   “While we are extremely relieved to move forward it is still disturbing to know that one of our own likely contributed to this interruption to our day,” Dr. Veracco said.

   As of today the investigation is still ongoing. Federal technology agents, police and the administration are working together to track the IP address from the original airdropped photos. Students have been informed that the office is open to anyone who has information.

   “If any of our students know who sent the initial threatening message, we will greatly appreciate you sharing that information with high school administration,” Dr. Veracco said.