Additional security planned at five schools in Harford after bomb threat

John CarrollBombingsEdgewood

The Harford County sheriff's office plans to have additional security Wednesday at five schools after a bomb threat was made.

According to Capt. Keith Warner of the sheriff's office, the primary school mentioned in a threatening note was C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air, which also had an unfounded bomb threat last week. Parents were notified Tuesday night that the school had been threatened again, according to schools spokeswoman Teri D. Kranefeld.

Public high schools Aberdeen, Edgewood and Patterson Mill and the private John Carroll School were also mentioned in the note found at C. Milton Wright, Warner said.

"We don't think there's anything credible with them," Warner said. "Why the others were mentioned we don't know."

Asked whether parents are allowed to keep students home Wednesday, Kranefeld said, "Parents always have the option if they don't feel safe."

In addition, the principal at John Carroll sent an email to parents Tuesday informing them that John Carroll was listed in the note found at C. Milton Wright, after the first bomb threat last week, as one of the possible targets Wednesday.

"During a search of the school ... on the back of a bathroom stall door, a note was written saying that four local high schools would have a bomb go off at 10:30 a.m. on October 24. Unfortunately, John Carroll was one of the schools listed," Principal Madelyn Ball wrote in the email. But in a phone interview, Ball said that though John Carroll was mentioned, it was unclear whether it was targeted.

Kranefeld criticized the John Carroll letter, saying some of the information given to parents could compromise the investigation.

"John Carroll's letter that came out today has a lot of misinformation," she said.

C. Milton Wright was evacuated Thursday morning for a bomb threat that turned out to be unfounded.

Ball said John Carroll was notified that it was mentioned in the threat Thursday and had scoured the campus since then to ensure that no bomb was there.

"It's kind of vague as to whether or not we were listed by name as a threat. We're not 100 percent sure that the intent was John Carroll. Police are more inclined to believe that it was C. Milton Wright," the principal said. "But ... we take this seriously and take steps to make sure students are safe."

In the email sent to parents, Ball said police officials have recommended that the school proceed as normal. But she said the school would "practice an evacuation drill that pertains to bomb threats prior to 10:15 and not return to the building until at least 10:45.

"The police will be present on campus," Ball said in the email. "It is highly unlikely that this is a credible threat, but we are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of our students. Rest assured that we have not received any threatening phone calls, and we have not found any similar messages on our bathroom stalls."

Ball said in the interview that the school has received "overwhelming responses from parents thanking us for making them aware and giving them a choice whether to go to school" Wednesday.

Baltimore Sun Media Group reporter Marissa Gallo contributed to this article.

joseph.burris@baltsun.com

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