Middle school cleared after bomb threat

Durango School District Interim Superintendent Bill Esterbrook activated the AlertNow system Monday after Miller Middle School was threatened with a bomb.

Tam Smith, the school’s principal, was alerted by staff members of a series of bomb threats written on the wall of a boys’ bathroom about 10 a.m.

“They pretty much said, ‘bomb at 11.50,’” said Esterbrook.

As a precaution, the building was evacuated.

Law enforcement and school personnel searched the building and school campus extensively. Nothing suspicious was found.

Students were allowed back into the building at 12:15 p.m. with lessons resuming as usual.

This isn’t the first time recently that Durango middle schoolers were subject to a bomb threat.

On May 11, Escalante Middle School also was forced to evacuate because of a bomb threat scrawled in a boys’ bathroom.

Esterbrook said that school administrators suspected a copycat crime at Miller.

Esterbook said the episode had been “very frustrating. And should we find out who did it, we will certainly take a strong stand, issue a severe punishment, ask the police to file charges and the district attorney to prosecute. It’s very disruptive to class, and it puts the whole community in jeopardy. Firemen and police have to do their due diligence. While they’re searching the building, they’re not out on patrol,” Esterbrook said.

cmcallister@durangoherald.com

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