Bomb threat forces school evacuations — for the fourth time

For the fourth day in a row, all schools in the East Buchanan School District, about 40 miles north of Kansas City, have been evacuated because of anonymous bomb threats.

The district’s three schools were evacuated just after noon today and bomb-sniffing dogs began searching the buildings for explosives about 3:30 p.m., said Nancy J. Roth of Gower, president of the East Buchanan School Board.

School officials are offering a $1,000 award for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is making the threats, said Roth, also a parent of two district students. No bombs have been found during the searches.

“Obviously it’s very disturbing,” she said. “It’s frustrating for everyone involved, and we’re concerned for everyone’s safety.”

Police and sheriff’s deputies are cooperating in the investigation.

“We’d like to find who is responsible,” Roth said, “and we’re going to prosecute to the fullest extent we can. We want to get it resolved and get back to educating our children.”

The district has about 730 students. A high school and elementary school are at Gower, Mo., in western Clinton County. The middle school is at Easton in Buchanan County, east of St. Joseph. Portions of the district also extend into Platte and DeKalb counties.

Roth deferred questions how the threats were made to Superintendent Charles Nance, who was not available for comment.

Officials on Thursday said the threat that day was a note found in a locker room at a school.

The bomb threats will be discussed at the school board’s regular monthly meeting on Monday, Roth said. One issue is missed class time. Make-up days may have to be added to the district’s class schedule.

Anyone with information about the bomb threats can call the Buchanan County TIPS Hotline, 1-816-238-TIPS (8477), or call the Clinton County TIPS Hotline at 1-816-930-2583.