“We will do our part to make sure danger is removed from our schools.”Justin Merritt, Vermilion Parish Crisis Team Leader
ERATH, LA — The second school threat in under a week forced all Erath schools to evacuate Wednesday.
The first bomb threat occurred Friday morning. Erath police say a child under the age of 10 was behind it. Wednesday’s bomb and gun threat is currently unsolved, and the Vermilion Parish School System is taking action to prevent a third threat.
The Erath Police Department confirmed it wasn’t the same student who made the bomb threat Wednesday morning. Chief Anna LaPointe said that guilty student was by a surveillance camera leaving the bomb note on a school bus, and was not attending Dozier Elementary Wednesday.
“First they were going to shoot people and bomb the schools,” Vermilion Parish School System Interim Superintendent Brad Prudhomme said recalling the note behind Wednesday’s school threat.
“It was like a little repeat,” Prudhomme explained. It was like Friday’s bomb threat made even worse by threatening not only the school but one of the safe place evacuation sites.
“I honestly think that most of the students do not understand the severity or the significance of the situation”, Erath Police Chief Anna LaPointe told News 10. “They think it’s a joke or funny, and it’s just not.”
The principal of Dosier elementary agreed with LaPointe enough to ask The Vermilion Parish Crisis Team to address her students Thursday.
“We’re definitely concerned, and we want to put a stop to this”, expressed Prudhomme.
“It’s terrorizing is what it is”, stated Kevin Hebert, a Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant and crisis team member.
The group holds dozens of training events a year to prepare for various disasters. Hebert said false alarms are costly to operate and the burden of cost could fall on the parents of the child responsible.
“We just want all the students to know that it’s very serious, and we take it very seriously, and charges can be filed and will be filed against anyone”, Hebert said.
In addition to facing the law, students also have to answer to the school board and face possible suspension or expulsion.
According to Vermilion Parish Crisis Team Leader and Risk Manager Justin Merritt, “Age of student, did they understand what they were actually doing, that could possibly come in, but any time there is a threat, those are not our primary concern. The primary concern is removing the threat from the system.”
In addition to speaking with the elementary school, other events are being planned to speak to middle and high school students.