WASHINGTON – Frederick County School officials on Wednesday lauded an Urbana High School student who reported that a friend had threatened to bomb the school and kill himself.
Maryland State Police arrested a 15-year-old Frederick County boy and charged him with making a bomb threat after the other student said the boy made repeated threats in recent weeks, said Maj. Greg Shipley, a police spokesman.
Officials said the friend told his parents of the 15-year-old’s threats and the parents, in turn, contacted police.
A Frederick County schools spokeswoman said Urbana High School Principal George M. Seaton II “applauded that student who came forward for taking the time to listen to a friend, recognize signs of trouble and then report those signs of trouble to an adult.”
“We think that took a lot of courage and maturity,” said Marita Loose, the spokeswoman.
Neither police nor school officials would identify either student.
Shipley said police interviewed the 15-year-old Tuesday night and conducted a search of his home, but found no bombs or contraband. He said the youth was then released into his mother’s custody.
The boy was prohibited from returning to school until he and his mother meet with the principal. Shipley said a state trooper and a Frederick County deputy were posted at the high school on Wednesday.
Loose said the school will conduct a “complete internal investigation and an assessment.”
“We may look at things such as intent. . .have there been behavior problems?” she said. “All of those things are taken into consideration.”
Loose said that Frederick County schools have mechanisms in place to encourage students to come forward if they learn of a threat. She could not say what motivated the student in this case to come forward, but agreed that officials were heartened by the action.
Seaton’s letter to students and parents reinforced that.
“Given the recent incident in California, there is certainly a heightened sensitivity to situations such as this,” he wrote. “All of us must continue to listen closely and carefully to our friends and children and always err on the side of safety and prudence.
“The student who reported this situation deserves tremendous credit for the courage and forethought with which it was handled,” his letter said.