Schools act on various threats

Facilities are evacuated, locked down

The Associated PressApril 18, 2007 

— Campus threats forced lockdowns and evacuations at universities and grade schools in seven states on Tuesday, a day after a Virginia Tech student's shooting rampage killed 33 people. One threat directly mentioned the massacre in Virginia.

IN LOUISIANA, parents picked up hundreds of students from Bogalusa's high school and middle school amid reports that a man had been arrested Tuesday morning for threatening a mass killing in a note that alluded to the killings at Virginia Tech.

Schools Superintendent Jerry Payne said both schools were locked down, and police arrested a 53-year-old man who allegedly made the threat in a note he gave to a student headed to the private Bowling Green School in Franklinton. Both towns are in southeastern Louisiana.

IN RAPID CITY, S.D., schools were locked down after receiving reports of a man with a gun in a parking lot at Central High School. No shots were fired and no injuries were reported, police said. The high school students were taken to the nearby Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, where parents were allowed to pick up their children.

IN AUSTIN, TEXAS, authorities evacuated buildings at St. Edward's University after a threatening note was found, a school official said.

Police secured the campus perimeter and were searching the buildings, St. Edward's University spokeswoman Mischelle Amador said. She declined to say where the note was found and said its contents were "nonspecific."

AT NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY, seven buildings were evacuated after a duffel bag was found outside a bus shelter in the main part of the campus. NDSU spokesman Dave Wahlberg said the shootings in Virginia reinforced the need to "err on the side of safety."

IN BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICH., police attributed a 30-minute lock-down at the Cranbrook Schools complex in response to jittery nerves after the Virginia slayings.

School officials called police after parents and students reported spotting a 6-foot-tall man in a skirt, high heels, lipstick and a blond wig near a school drop-off area outside Cranbrook's Kingswood Upper School, Lt. Paul Myszenski said. Police were unable to find anyone meeting that description.

AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA, officials ordered three campus administration buildings evacuated for almost two hours Tuesday morning in response to a telephone bomb threat. The city's bomb squad searched the buildings but found nothing, campus spokesman Chuck Cantrell said.

AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA, a scare began with a report of a man spotted on campus carrying a suspicious object, officials said. The man was carrying an umbrella, not a weapon, and he later identified himself to authorities, the university's president, David Boren, said in a statement.

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