Dec 21 05 - Student arrested for bomb threat

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Bomb threat at Shawnee High School

Thursday, Dec. 21st, 2005, Medford NJ - A Shawnee High School Junior was arrested Tuesday, and is facing expulsion from school for making terroristic threats.  The boy had apparently mentioned to a number of other students that he had purchased materials on the Internet, and had planted a bomb in the school.  A message was left in a boys lavatory on Tuesday morning, saying that a bomb would go off on Wednesday morning.  The principal, Charles Fleishman, sent recorded phone messages explaining the situation to all parents on Tuesday and Wednesday.  While the threatened area in the school was evacuated briefly on Wednesday, school staff and police made sweeps of the building on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, and no device or material was discovered.

The boy, a 16 year old from Medford Lakes NJ was taken to Burlington County Jail, and faces criminal charges.  A hearing will also be held with the Superintendent of the Lenape Regional High School District to determine whether expulsion from school is warranted.

What would motivate a student to do such a crazy thing?  If convicted, the boy faces severe penalties.  His chances of getting admitted to college, or even getting a good job will be reduced to near zero if he is expelled from school and convicted of the charges against him.  Hopefully, the school staff will be able to get to the bottom of this.  The students who reported the situation should be congratulated.  It takes guts to do that, but it was the right thing to do.  The staff should also be commended for having programs in place to help avoid these types of violent threats, and for having a close relationship with the students, who felt comfortable coming forward.


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