Bomb threats found on Port Townsend school’s walls, but not credible threats, police say

PORT TOWNSEND — Messages on the restroom walls at Blue Heron Middle School that contained the word “bomb” were discovered on three consecutive days last week, but the school was not evacuated because city police said there was no imminent danger.

“We determined that there was no credible threat, so we did not recommend evacuating the school,” said Officer Patrick Fudally, the department’s spokesperson.

While the messages at the school at 3939 San Juan Ave. were discovered on consecutive days, there was no indication as to when they were written, Fudally said.

“Some of them were very hard to see, so they could have been written last year,” he said.

“The first message was under the handle of a urinal in a place where it was very difficult for an adult to see.”

Three messages

“They were three different messages in three different bathrooms,” said Diane Lashinsky, the school’s principal.

“Each suggested there was a bomb in the school, and each time, I called the police, but their investigation determined that it wasn’t a serious threat.”

The school was not evacuated, but parents received “robo call” messages from Lashinsky on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons.

Lashinsky said the messages did not appear to have been written by the same person.

“The messages are no longer there,” she said.

“We take care of graffiti right away.”

No suspects have been identified, and Fudally called the investigation “inactive” Friday.

“There are no suspects right now, and we have no solid information,” he said.

“We are hoping that a kid or a parent will hear something about who did this and get back to us.”

Since the messages were discovered, the school has increased monitoring and observation of the students, Lashinsky said.

“We have increased monitoring of the school so if something happens, we will be able to more easily identify who’s responsible,” she said.

“We are here to support education, and if we have to reduce student privileges in order to do that, we will take that action.”

One of the privileges that could be revoked is the ability for students to move freely through the school, she said.

Two earlier bomb threats were discovered at the school Jan. 17 and April 14.

Past incidents

In January, the school was evacuated after the message “Osama bin Laden I will bomb your school” was discovered on the wall of the girls’ bathroom.

In April, the students were taken to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds to await their parents and go home.

At the time, Lashinsky said all previous incidents have been traced back to students and have been found to be groundless, but the school takes immediate action in each case.

Alexis Nye, the parent of a fourth-grader, said she feels her child is safe but would like to have more information.

“This happened last year with evacuations and trucks coming to the schools, and it was very upsetting to the kids,” Nye said.

“I have faith in the principal and the superintendent that they are doing the right thing legally and morally, so if they didn’t evacuate, they had a good reason.

“We thought it was over, but here it comes again, and the most salient thing to know is who is doing this and why.”

Lashinsky said a student might take this action to be comical, to get released from school or for attention.

Anyone with information about the incident can phone Lashinsky at 360-379-4540 or police at 360-385-2322.

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

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