We've all heard stories of students calling in fake bomb threats to their schools in order to avoid a test, a big assignment, or to just cause some chaos. It's been happening for decades. My own high school was a victim of one of these tasteless pranks, which cancelled classes and brought in the bomb squad.
But in Calhoun County, Illinois, it wasn't a student stupidly suggesting that a bomb was present, but a teacher. Yes, a teacher!
According to reports, 36-year-old Michelle L. Smith, a special-education teacher at the high school, left a computer generated note in the school ladies' bathroom that read:
"This school is going down today. KABOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm tired of all the people here. Everyone is going down ... So long and GOOD-BYE!!!!!!!!!"
After the note was discovered, the police were called, the school was evacuated, and bomb-sniffing dogs searched the building. Thankfully, a bomb was not found. Somehow the note was traced back to Ms. Smith, and she was arrested and charged with falsely making a terrorist threat and has been held on a $500,000 bond.
It's so sad that someone who was entrusted with educating and keeping students safe was responsible for such an egregious action. Sure, everyone has tough days and at times feels "tired of all the people here," but that is NO reason to cause such a stir by posting such a senseless threat.
"Actions such as these cause not only massive wastes of law enforcement resources, but strike fear into the hearts of parents and students alike," Stephen Wigginton, the southern Illinois' U.S. attorney, said in a statement. "Because children should feel safe in their schools, we take these charges very seriously."
If convicted, she could potentially serve up to five years in jail. Let's hope that whatever her punishment, it's one that sends a strong message to anyone considering such reckless behavior.
Can you believe a teacher would do this?
Image via Calhoun Police Department