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Local News

Washington Middle School in Lyons evacuated for bomb threat

LYONS – A bomb threat at Washington Middle School, 8101 Ogden Ave., in Lyons, led to the evacuation of about 800 students from the school at about 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, according to District 103 officials and the Lyons Police Department.

Police were called to the school after a teacher discovered a handwritten note in a classroom that said a bomb was inside the school, Superintendent Mary Jo Vladika said.

According to police, the note described a bomb that was set to detonate in the school's cafeteria at noon on Tuesday.

Police were called to do a sweep of the school at 11 a.m. and students were evacuated from the school and held across the street at St. Hugh Parish until students were allowed back into the school at 12:45 p.m.

"The police were wonderful and it was all very well done," Vladika said. "We've been paying a lot of attention to our safety drills and it looks like it paid off. The children did very well and were very orderly."

According to Police Chief Harley Schinker no threat was found at the school and a juvenile suspect was identified following interviews with students. According to Schinker, the student said the threat was a joke.

No charges were filed in the incident. School officials said they are working with the police department and will likely handle the matter internally. Vladika said she was waiting on more information from the school's principal.

A call to Principal Johnny Billingsley was not immediately returned.

"The safety and welfare of our students and staff is a top priority in District 103 and we take all reports very seriously," Vladika said.

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