School resumes Friday after threat forced evacuations

HENRY COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – School will resume as usual Friday morning at four schools in Hancock and Henry counties.

Knightstown Intermediate, Eastern Hancock, and Tri Junior-Senior High School and Elementary School were evacuated Thursday, after a bomb threat.

Knightstown’s Police Chief Danny Baker told 24-Hour News 8 a picture of a bomb was found in a bathroom at Knightstown Intermediate Thursday just before noon, with the initials of Knightstown Intermediate, Eastern Hancock, and Tri Junior-Senior High underneath.

Officials say they take every threat seriously. Those schools were evacuated, and law enforcement from multiple agencies were called in to investigate.

“It is resource intensive, and manpower intensive,” said Captain Robert Burke, with Indiana State Police. “It does cost money. It’s taking people off the road for most likely a hoax, but you have to take every one of these seriously.”

South Henry School Corporation Superintendent Wesley Hammond said they evacuated both the junior-senior high and the elementary because they sit side by side. He said they had school resource officers and a DARE officer at the school when the threat came in. Their assistant principal had just gotten back from the two day school safety training in Indianapolis.

He says their plan for this situation went smoothly.

“We got all the kids out, evacuated, per our plan, to the football field,” Hammond said. “We held them there as we began a preliminary search of the building.”

“We’ve got a good plan, we’ve reviewed it, every year we review it. We actually had the state review it. We followed that plan, and it worked well for us,” Hammond added.

In Knightstown, the investigation has begun into who drew that picture in a bathroom.

This is the second time in about a week, officials have responded to a threat at a school.

Chief Baker says a note was found in a bathroom at Knightstown High School last week, threatening a student would bring a gun to school. The school was on lockdown two days.

Chief Baker says the FBI is now involved with the threat from last week, as they work to determine who wrote it.

Officials say those behind either of these threats could face felony charges.

“You can face some serious fines and jail time over that, if you’re found guilty of doing that,” said Captain Burke.

“Consequences could be very severe, especially today. We tied up five agencies; evacuated three school systems,” Baker said.

But, the Knightstown Police Chief says if the students who made these threats come into his office Friday, and tell him they did it, he says, ‘we’ll get things worked out.’

In the meantime, he reminds everyone: they take nothing lightly.

“Our number one goal is to keep these kids safe. I don’t care what it takes,” said Baker.

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