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Bathroom Threat Prompts Evacuation at Wetzel County’s Short Line School in Reader

Short Line School in Reader was evacuated Wednesday due to a threat written on a bathroom wall, according to school officials.

Wetzel County Schools Superintendent Leatha Williams said a student noticed the message around 8 a.m. It stated that at 1:30 p.m., the school would go “bye-bye.” As part of the school’s safety plan, the students were evacuated to Reader’s fire station.

Williams said the Wetzel County Sheriff’s Department was contacted regarding the threat, and searched every area of school “to see if there was anything in the school, not necessarily a bomb, that would make the school unsafe.” She said the West Virginia State Police then arrived at the school and suggested that a bomb detection dog conduct a search of the school premises.

“I said, ‘It’s a good thing. Let’s err on the side of caution,'” Williams said.

After searches turned up nothing dangerous, students were able to return to the school.

Williams said when announcing the evacuation, Short Line School Principal Teresa Standiford announced the situation as a safety drill. Williams said this was because the children “are small children” and Standiford did not want to frighten them.

“Somehow that got out,” Williams said, adding she believes the correct decision was made in calling the evacuation a drill.

Williams said after the sheriff’s department had conducted its search, she placed a call to parents “that we had a threat and had initiated our safety plan.”

“I didn’t say we had a bomb threat, because we didn’t have a bomb threat. The threat was so general,” she said.

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