NAUGATUCK – Classes at Tug Valley High School were interrupted Wednesday afternoon, after school administrators were informed of a bomb threat.
The Tug Valley High School bomb threat marks the fourth bomb threat occurring at Mingo County Schools in less than three weeks. Three other bomb threats have been reported at Mingo Central High School, two of which, resulted in classes being dismissed early. Law enforcement has been investigating the bomb threats. Students involved in the bomb threats are facing expulsion by the school system. According to West Virginia State Police Sgt. M. S. Lively, students responsible for making these threats are facing criminal charges.
Dr. Johnny Branch, Principal at Tug Valley High School, explained that a note was found and brought to the attention of the administration shortly before lunch was scheduled to begin. Branch stated that students were evacuated and served snacks before receiving the okay to return back to the school.
“A threatening note was discovered and brought to the attention of the school administration shortly before the lunch periods. The school staff and students followed our crisis plan and evacuated the building. Law enforcement and the County Superintendent of schools were notified. The students were supervised by the faculty while the police investigation was taking place. School staff distributed snacks and water to the students since the threat was made prior to lunch service. Close to noon, an all-clear was given and students were allowed to return to the building and lunch was served. The students returned to classes following the meal,” Branch stated.
Branch commended the school’s staff and students for following proper crisis procedures. Branch also explained that the responding law enforcement were both efficient and professional.
“The staff should be commended for following the crisis plan and for responding to the needs of the students. Our students should be commended for their cooperation and for their patience during the investigation. County and State law enforcement officers responded promptly and conducted the investigation with great professionalism,” Branch said.
“All incidents of this nature are treated seriously and with diligence. The safety of our students and staff is our primary concern. These threats are potentially tragic and are always an interruption to the education of our children. Nevertheless, by having and following a plan, we can better protect our students and help them to feel more secure,” Branch concluded.
Don Spence, Interim Superintendent for Mingo County Schools sent notification following the bomb threat stating, “TVHS situation has been resolved and students will be going back to class. We have identified the perpetrator and will deal with accordingly. Students will be fed lunch.”
(Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)