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All OK after bomb threat clears Tuscola

Things are back on track at Tuscola High School after some threatening graffiti found in a boys bathroom last week caused school officials to send students home a few minutes early. 

“At about 10 till 3 we got a call from Tuscola,” said Bill Nolte, assistant superintendent of Haywood County Schools. “They had just discovered some writing on a boys restroom wall in the school and they had already notified the school resource officer.”

The “poorly written” note stated that there was a bomb in the school, Nolte said, and though the threat itself and the way it was delivered did not fit the profile of a legitimate portender of violence, school staff decided to be on the safe side and evacuate the school. Haywood County sheriff’s deputies did a thorough sweep of the school after students left but did not find a bomb. 

“It went really, really well,” Nolte said of the response. “The only faux pas was Travis Collins, the principal, sent two messages in that rapid notification system to go out to students and staff and for some reason those did not go.”

The school has not been able to identify the person who wrote the note, though Nolte said they were able to narrow it down to a “fairly small pool.”

“The school resource officer on campus will follow any leads and any information and work with the schools on that,” said Heidi Warren, public information officer for the sheriff’s office. 

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The school day has run normally since the Oct. 20 incident, and Nolte said there’s no reason to believe any danger exists for students. As early as the evening of Oct. 20, he said, students were using the campus for various school activities. 

It is unlikely that the bomb threat was related to a spat of bomb threats that occurred in Buncombe County last week. Those threats were delivered directly to the schools, much different than the bathroom scrawlings at Tuscola. 

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