BOISE-- A series of threats were called in to at least five southwest Idaho schools Thursday, prompting evacuations, a lockdown, and the use of bomb-sniffing dogs to search for dangerous materials.
The FBI is involved in the investigation that centers around eight threatening phone calls made to schools to businesses in both the Treasure and Magic Valleys. Their spokesperson said the FBI and other federal partners are assisting in local investigations.
Caldwell High School went into lockdown at 11:56 a.m. after a male subject called and threatened to walk into the school and start shooting, according to Canyon County Public Information Officer Joe Decker.
Chief Chris Allgood with the Caldwell Police Department said his officers responded immediately and secured the school. Allgood said officers then dispersed to each of the other schools in the district to assure that all of the schools were secured.
Police say all Caldwell schools have gone to a soft lockdown at this time. That means students are allowed to remain in class and in hallways, but are not allowed to leave campus.
Police say Twin Falls Christian Academy was put on lock down after an unknown caller threatened to harm students. The call came into police dispatch at 11:39 a.m.
Officers have responded to several other schools in the Twin Falls area to provide protection as well.
Parents of students at Twin Falls Christian Academy were notified by school staff of the situation.
Detectives are investigating the threatening phone call.
Skyview High School in Nampa sent home an email warning of a bomb threat called into that school at 11:45 a.m. School officials say Nampa police officers investigated the threat and after about 30 minutes students and staff resumed regular school activities.
District spokesman Dan Hollar says Boise High School received a bomb threat at 10:50 a.m.
Students were promptly evacuated.
Hollar said the district sent emails to parents giving them the option pick up their students near the 13th Street side of the Boise High Football field, adjacent to the tennis courts.
The district resumed classes at Boise High at approximately 12:50 p.m.
Kuna School District Assistant Superintendent Wendy Johnson said Kuna High received a similar bomb threat at 10:50 a.m.
However, school staff say classes at Kuna High were back in session by 12:20 p.m.
Ada County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Andrea Dearden said Kuna Police and Ada County Sheriff's Deputies investigated the threat.
Boise Police say that making bomb threats is a felony, and both juveniles or adults can be charged. The crime is punishable by up to five years incarceration.
The following email was sent to parents and guardians of students at Boise High:
Dear Boise High Parent/Guardian:
This is to notify you that a bomb threat was received by Boise High School at approximately 10:50 a.m. this morning, Thursday, April 11, 2013.
We immediately implemented our safety and security procedures and contacted Boise Police. All students have been safely evacuated to the school's football field.
If you wish, you may pick up your student by bringing proper identification to the 13th Street side of the football field, next to the tennis courts to sign out your student with the proper Boise High School administrator. Classes may or may not resume but all students will be supervised by building administration. Any students who are picked up by parents/guardians will be given an excused absence.
Again, all students and staff members have been safely evacuated and we are working with Boise Police to determine who is responsible for making this bomb threat.
Dr. Ann Farris