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Charges filed against three accused in DBHS bomb threat

Remaining consequences are under consideration regarding a bomb threat made last week at Daniel Boone High School.
According to Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal, two freshmen and one sophomore were charged with filing a false report after a message was discovered written in a bathroom at the high school referencing a possible bomb in the building.
Graybeal said one of the students involved had in his possession a map of the school “with suspicious markings and an escape route.”
The initial arrest on the afternoon of Nov. 20 included only two students, but a third was arrested within the hour. The three students were sent to the Washington County/Johnson City Regional Juvenile Detention Center.
A hearing in Washington County Juvenile Court the next day addressed the legal ramifications of the charges. While awaiting transport of the students, Judge Robert Lincoln made it clear the information is not public record.
Graybeal said there was some talk about paying back the cost of the emergency vehicles that responded to the threat, but that kind of penalty would fall on the parents.
“I would like to see community service where (the students) would be giving back,” he said. “It’s in the Juvenile Court now and they always do the right thing.”
Director of Schools Ron Dykes said a separate disciplinary hearing will determine the punishment from the school system.
Dykes said the students received an immediate 10-day suspension. Should the charges be determined to be in violation of the system’s zero tolerance policy, the students could be suspended for up to 180 days.
Other options include a temporary transfer or permanent placement inthe Washington County Alternative Learning Program, which is provided at the Midway Materials Center on West Walnut Street in Johnson City.
Upon learning of the potential danger on Nov. 18, school officials immediately evacuated the building and moved students to the Nathan Hale stadium.
“The evacuation policy is part of our crisis manual,” Dykes said, referring to a set of specific procedures developed for events that require emergency action, such as a bomb threat.
“Directions are to take students to a designated area, contrary to (seeking) shelter in the case of an intruder,” he said.
Once members of law enforcement are notified, Dykes said the building comes under their supervision. Responding in mass to the potential crisis at Boone were the WCSO School Resource Unit, Patrol Division and Criminal Investigation Division, in addition to emergency rescue squads and fire units.
Law enforcement officials set up a command post and began the process to determine whether the threat was valid.
“When we get a call from the schools, our main concern is we’re coming head-on, and we’re going to determine who did it and if we need to place charges,” Graybeal said. “I want to put it out there that if you do this, we’re going to find out who you are.”
According to Dykes, students remained in the stadium for more than an hour before staff received notice it would be another two hours before a K-9 unit trained in bomb detection could be on the scene. At that time, an all-points text was sent to parents and members of the media notifying them Daniel Boone would be closing at noon.
Dykes said students were dismissed from the stadium and not allowed to return to the main building.
While no follow-up assembly is planned, Dykes said students receive constant reminders regarding proper behavior and the zero-tolerance policy during grade-level meetings and through the systemwide EPIC program.