EVERSON - Police arrested a 13-year-old boy accused of threatening to bomb Nooksack Valley Middle School because he needed an extra day to catch up on homework Wednesday, morning, Sept. 26.
The boy dialed 911 about 8 a.m. and told a dispatcher the school was going to "blow up" in two hours, said Everson Police Chief Erik Ramstead. School was on a late schedule, and the explosion would have gone off with the first bell at 10 a.m.
Police traced the call to a home in Whatcom County. By the time police showed up, the boy had boarded a bus to school. Officers waited for the bus to finish its route, then arrested the boy when he was dropped off at the middle school at 9:45 a.m.
Other buses were rerouted to Nooksack Valley High School while staff and early arrivers were evacuated from the middle school. A bomb-sniffing dog was called in to ensure no explosives were hidden on the campus at 404 W. Columbia St. In the meantime, teachers held classes in the high school gym.
At 10:30 a.m., the students attending school that day - all 350 of them - were bused back to their old classrooms.
The teen told officers he was overwhelmed by schoolwork and needed some extra time to catch up. He figured if he could get an extra day off, that would be enough, Ramstead said.
Wednesday would have been one of his first days back from a previous suspension, according to police. Principal Joel VanderYacht declined to say what grade the boy is in or why he was previously suspended. He also declined to talk about punishment the boy now faces.
The teen was booked into juvenile detention on suspicion of threatening to bomb or injure property, a class B felony.
Ramstead didn't get the impression that the teen is a regular troublemaker.
"Judging by mom's reaction, and his reaction, this was a new thing," Ramstead said. "Hopefully he learned his lesson."
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