OPELOUSAS, La. (KPEL News) - St. Landry Parish Sheriff's deputies say a student who wanted to skip class is responsible for a bomb threat that caused Lawtell Elementary School in Opelousas to be evacuated last month.

The sheriff's office received the call from the school's prinicipal on January 30, 2023, about a bomb threat that was written on paper and found inside the girl's bathroom. This caused fire trucks, ambulances, deputies, D.A.R.E., School Resource, Training, and SWAT to clear the scene and evacuate the students and staff before clearing the scene so that everyone could come back.

Lawtell Elementary School, Facebook
Lawtell Elementary School, Facebook

Investigators learned a female student under the age of 15 allegedly wrote the note so she could skip class. Then, a week later on February 6th, deputies say a male student also under the age of 15 said that he helped her write the note after she asked him to. Each student has been charged with Communicating False Information of a Planned Bomb Threat on School Property.

We take all bomb threats seriously," says St. Landry Parish Sheriff. "This meant valued resources were tied up, and the students were not inside the classroom receiving an education. My office will continue to investigate these threats and arrest anyone who threatens the safety of our children and educators.”

The charge carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years, according to law.justia.com:

Whoever commits the crime of communicating of false information of a planned bombing1 on school property, at a school-sponsored function, or in a firearm-free zone as defined in R. S. 14:95.6(A) shall be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than twenty years. Upon commitment to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections after conviction for a crime committed on school property, at a school sponsored function or in a firearm-free zone, the department shall have the offender evaluated through appropriate examinations or tests conducted under the supervision of the department. Such evaluation shall be made within thirty days of the order of commitment.

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