SALT LAKE CITY – Two junior high students in Roosevelt were arrested after threatening to bring a gun to school and “do what they did in Connecticut,” authorities say, and five Syracuse high-schoolers were suspended after a bomb hoax that prompted extra security at their school.
The events capped a week in which a sixth-grader brought a gun to his suburban Salt Lake school – telling administrators he wanted to be able to defend himself in case of an attack – and schools across the state were on heightened alert because of the Newtown rampage and buzz about doomsday scenarios based on the Mayan calendar.
On Thursday, bomb-sniffing dogs and police were sent to Syracuse High after school officials say a student brought an old video-game system to school and claimed it was a bomb. The student was suspended and referred to juvenile court, along with four others accused of being involved in the hoax.
In northeastern Utah, two Roosevelt Junior High students were arrested after one of them threatened to bring a gun to campus and “do what they did in Connecticut,” police said. The other boy allegedly agreed to help his classmate carry out the plan.
The boys, ages 12 and 13, became upset when teachers halted a heated game of dodge ball Wednesday. Teachers overheard their conversation and notified police.
The boys, who were booked into a youth detention center in Vernal, were expected to be referred to juvenile court on one count each of making a terror threat, the newspaper reported.
Elsewhere, school officials in Hyrum cancelled classes Friday at Mountain Crest High School after a student said she overheard talk of guns and suicide.
Earlier in the week, an 11-year-old boy caught with a gun at West Kearns Elementary School in suburban Salt Lake City told administrators he brought the weapon to defend himself in case of an attack similar to the one in Connecticut.
The boy was taken to juvenile detention on suspicion of possessing a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault after other students at the school told police he threatened them with the handgun. He was expected to be charged in juvenile court Tuesday, school district officials said.