Some Paola parents say school district mishandled bomb threat

PAOLA, Kan. - When Eric Dunbar arrived at Paola high school Wednesday morning, the senior was shocked to learn his school was on lock-down.

"I got to school about 10:15, and one of my friends was sitting in the commons, and told me there was a bomb threat," Dunbar said.

With his classmates still inside the building, Dunbar called his mom, Debbie, asking for permission to leave.

"I was just nervous with what was going on, so I didn't want to be there in case something happened," Dunbar said.

According to Paola police, a message was written on the men's bathroom wall, threatening a bomb would go off at noon, alongside the words, "Good luck in finding it."

Police said they were notified of the threat just after 9 a.m. Students were evacuated about an hour later.

Numerous parents took to Facebook, voicing their concerns about the students remaining in the building so long. Only Debbie Craig was willing to speak for the group, especially after the Facebook thread was deleted by the district.

"All of us parents in town, all of us, are wanting to know why it took two hours to get the kids out, and they're not giving anybody an answers," Craig said.

Superintendent Judy Welter described the bomb threat as a learning incident for the school. 

In a note sent home to parents, Welter ensured parents the district took every precaution to make sure everyone was safe.

Craig said she is glad her son is safe, but still wishes the district would have evacuated the building sooner.

"All they had to do was remove the kids. That's all they had to do," Craig said.

Paola police questioned an 18-year-old student who admitted to writing the threat, but didn't actually plant a bomb in the school.

There's been no word yet on any possible charges the student may face.

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