School bomb threats create concern of real risk

Students were evacuated to the football field (Source: WMBF News Anchor Brandon Herring)
Students were evacuated to the football field (Source: WMBF News Anchor Brandon Herring)
MBFD units on scene at MBHS (Source: WMBF News Anchor Brandon Herring)
MBFD units on scene at MBHS (Source: WMBF News Anchor Brandon Herring)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach High School students had to evacuate the building Friday morning because of a bomb threat.  According to Captain David Knipes with the Myrtle Beach Police Department, someone found a note in the cafeteria of the school suggesting there was a bomb in the building.

Friday's threat is the third in as many days at the high school. The first bomb threat at MBHS was made Wednesday. A note was found in the school restroom and authorities responded to the school to clear the building of any potential explosive devices. Thursday, students were again evacuated when a second bomb threat note was found in the restroom.

No bomb or any type of explosive device was found in either search.

On Wednesday, a student at Black Water Middle School was arrested for making a bomb threat on a school bus. At Saint James High School there have been five bomb threats in 15 days.

"Honestly I think it's just people trying to get out of school early for Christmas break," said Myrtle Beach High School 11th-rader Brandon Hardy.

"Yesterday we missed fourth block because of it. Today we missed first and most of second, and Wednesday we missed all of first. It's just taking away the class time, making our grades drop because we can't get the class work done."

Knipes said, in addition to the school resource officer, Myrtle Beach Police sent two officers and a bomb-sniffing dog from SLED to search the school this morning.

Sgt. Robert Kegler with Horry County Police said his department has sent five to ten officers and detectives along with the bomb squad to threats at Saint James High School.

Brandon's mom Mandy Hardy said she is glad each threat is being taken seriously.

"The boy who cried wolf... first Wednesday could have been a hoax, but what if today wasn't," she said.

Brandon said three threats in a row is not something he and his friends are enjoying. Instead it is making them more nervous.

"Most of my friends say they're trying to talk their parents into going to a different school because they're that afraid," he said. "They're like me - multiple threats, they're thinking this might actually be real.

"Sometimes this can be real and honestly after three days, I'm starting to think somebody is planning on doing it.'

His mother has those fears too, and she is frustrated.

"They don't know what they're doing," she said. "They're wasting time. They're wasting parents' time. They're wasting staff's time. No, not funny at all, not funny at all."

Horry County Schools spokesperson Teal Britton did not respond to requests to find out what kind of punishment would face someone making the threats.

However, Assistant Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said criminal charges are also possible. He said the threats are a felony that could mean up to 15 years in jail.

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