No fuse on bomb threat

By Brandon Evans | Published Saturday, November 3, 2012

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A bomb threat at Paradise High School late Friday morning sent students and faculty spilling out of the building.

BOMB THREAT – Students at Paradise High School were evacuated late Friday morning after a bomb threat was found scrawled on the stall in a bathroom. Students returned to class a couple of hours later after a thorough search turned up no explosives and emergency responders cleared the scene. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Students, teachers and staff waited outside for more than two hours as members of the Paradise Fire Department and investigators with the Wise County Sheriff’s Office combed the interior and exterior of the high school. After hours of searching, no bomb was found, and everyone went back to class.

The bomb scare started after a threat was found scrawled on the stall of a bathroom at the high school.

“The handwritten note was found inside the bathroom,” said Sheriff David Walker. “We worked with the Paradise Fire Department to conduct a thorough search of the building. Wise County EMS was also on hand in case they were needed.

“We also had Denton County Bomb Squad and Lewisville on standby in case we found something.”

It appears the threat was just a hoax, but school and public safety officials took it seriously.

“Even though we might think it was just a kid trying to get out of taking a test, we can’t think of it that way,” said Paradise Fire Chief John Neal. “We coordinated with the Sheriff’s Office to conduct the search.”

Under the command of Paradise firefighter Jeff Murphree, firefighters split up into teams moving throughout the building. They cut off radar frequency while searching and stayed within earshot of other teams.

“If there was something in here we know it would probably be small so we had to look in the smallest and most obscure places,” Neal said.

“Student safety is our first issue,” said Paradise superintendent Monty Chapman. “As soon as we found out about it we immediately sent the kids to a safe location.”

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