A non-specific bomb threat made by a Wharton High School teen Monday caused schools in El Campo and Wharton to enter into emergency lockdowns. No one was hurt and no explosives were located.
The threat was sent via text to a Lane City adult with children attending Wharton schools. The adult did not recognize the number and reported the threat to Wharton Police Department at 8:17 a.m.
“It was a non-specific threat that this person was going to bomb a school,” WPD Detective Ariel Soltura said. “At that time, no school was mentioned.”
By 10:08 a.m., an alleged suspect identified as a boy with special needs by Wharton ISD Chief of Police Landy Williams.
Williams would not disclose if the suspect had been punished by the school or if he will be charged.
“The alleged suspect thought this to be just a ‘joke,’” according to WPD social media.
El Campo Middle School received word of the threat at 9:10 a.m. The school went into a lockdown, a safety practice where students and teachers sit silently inside the classrooms with the doors locked and lights off.
School officials searched the campus for suspicious items. Nothing was found and classes resumed shortly afterward.
“It was very brief,” ECMS Principal Gary Figirova said. “We just wanted to be cautious.”
ECMS was the only ECISD school to be placed under lockdown Monday.
All WISD campuses were placed under lockout, a safety precaution where students are kept inside and no visitors are allowed into the campus while classes continue.
WPD officials expressed gratitude for the tipster’s quick decision to report the threat.
“We urge anybody that does receive any type of text or call to ... reach out to law enforcement,” Soltura said. “Anything that they think is suspicious.”