Officials, Parents React to Bomb Threat

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CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio - Parents of high school students were awakened before 6 a.m. Monday by a recorded phone message from district Superintendent Dr. Todd Nichols.

The message said, "This morning at approximately 5 a.m., I became aware of an email similar to the last one received about a month ago threatening to detonate a device at the high school between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Therefore we will close the high school campus today, Monday April 29th and we will thoroughly investigate the building and campus and we will call you again this afternoon."

Nichols tells Fox 8 that the high school principal received the email just after midnight but did not open it until about 5 a.m.

He says it came from the same source as a similar email sent on March 8th that has been difficult to trace.

"Given the nature of our society at this point in time and on the heels of Boston, where do you incite the most or the least panic? And at this point we feel that it is best to err on the side of safety," said Nichols.

Local police are being assisted by investigators with the FBI and the Secret Service as they try to identify the source.

In the meantime, authorities and school personnel spent the day Monday thoroughly searching the building and the premises, but did not find an explosive device.

Many parents believe the district made the right choice.

"Well, I just hope that the law finds them and prosecutes them to the fullest," said Art Burgeron, whose 16-year-old son was home for the day and lives across the street from the school.

"It's wrong, I mean it's kind of sick in a way, especially with everything that has happened in the past couple of weeks. It's just, not something to joke about," said his son Tim.

"I want to make sure my child is safe and if someone did email something saying something is going to happen, there's a lot of fake stuff going on too. You don't know which one is which, but you have got to take that precaution," said Scott James, whose
17-year-old daughter was also home for the day.

"I really don't understand why somebody would do that while our country just has been dealing with a lot of serious issues that are relevant to that, I just don't understand it," said Lauren Roper, a substitute teacher who works in Cuyahoga Falls Schools.

The district is sending out a stern message to whoever is responsible, certain they will be caught.

"When we do identify the culprit in this kind of a situation, I fully anticipate the police, the FBI, the Secret Service, the school district... the school district is going to be the last of their problems you know, it's going to be much larger than that," said Nichols.

Classes at the high school were to resume on schedule Tuesday.

"I would caution our youngsters that times are much different now then they were maybe 20 years ago when I started in administration," added Nichols, concluding "things are much more real and there's a lot more people involved and the consequences are much more severe."