Lawrence police investigate bomb threat at Billy Mills Middle School, say it isn’t credible

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Post last updated at 11:03 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 21:

Lawrence police Thursday morning were investigating a reported bomb threat at Billy Mills Middle School, according to emails from administrators.

Julie Boyle, a spokesperson for the district, wrote in an email to BMMS families that the district was working with LPD to investigate a report of a student making a bomb threat. She wrote that police had already investigated and “determined that this is not a credible threat.”

“Everyone at school is safe,” Boyle wrote, bolded and underlined.

Boyle said in a media email that police and staff had interviewed the student and talked to the family.

Principal Andrew Taylor wrote in an email to families that the student has been removed from the school and that he will follow up with disciplinary action in accordance with school board policy. He wrote that he’s working closely with Officer James Browning, the SRO.

“We understand that it is concerning when students say things that they do not mean about school violence,” Boyle wrote. “We’ll continue to work with this student and the family to support safe and positive behavior in the future.”

In another email later Thursday morning, Boyle wrote that “As police helped BMMS staff investigate this morning’s bomb threat, they have shared an additional report that the same student texted others about bringing a gun to school.”

“Police determined that this student does not have a gun,” she wrote. “There is no weapon at school and no credible threat to school safety. Again, everyone at Billy Mills Middle School is safe.”

“… We appreciate the students and adults who reported these safety concerns so they could be immediately investigated,” Boyle’s email to families continued. “Looking out for one another and open communication are critical to working together to maintain safe schools.”

Sgt. Drew Fennelly of the Lawrence Police Department said police would not make any arrests in connection with the incident.

“After speaking with all involved parties, it was agreed that the best course of action would be to refer the incident to the DA’s office for charging consideration and involve mental health professionals in assessing the situation,” he said.

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