Bomb threats disruptive to schools, community

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 2, 2000

It happened again on Thursday and we, along with many people in the Natchez community, are outraged. &uot;It&uot; is a bomb threat.

And Thursday, some prankster, or pranksters, made a bomb threat to the staff at First Presbyterian Church’s Playschool, a well-respected daycare center that tends to dozens of young children.

The staff responded quickly, evacuated the children with a minimum of disruption, and thanks to the good-natured law enforcement and fire officers here in town, the children were well-entertained until their parents arrived.

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But the fact is the threat shut down the playschool for the remainder of the day, terrifying staff members; frightening and upsetting children; and disrupting the plans and schedules of scores of parents, who shared a few terrifying moments with all those involved.

The shame of the matter is this is the fourth bomb threat made in the past three weeks. Two were made to Natchez public schools — including one each to the high school and middle school on the last day of classes — and another threat was made to John Martin’s Restaurant.

We’re lucky, of course, that the threats have been just that — threats.

But we’re suffering, as a community, because the process strains our law enforcement and safety response teams, who by nature treat each call as a true emergency, until proven otherwise. And, we’re suffering because the people, or persons, behind these threats haven’t been stopped.

True, officers arrested suspects in the dual threats made on the last day of classes, but these other threats are disturbing because they indicate that the malice continues.

And we, as a community, must do something to stop it. Anyone who knows who is making these &uot;anonymous&uot; threats must share that information with law enforcement officers. Moreover, peers, associates and, yes, friends and family must shun these &uot;pranksters&uot; and treat them as they really are — disruptive menaces who lack judgment, concern and respect for the law.

And we, like many others, hope that law enforcement officers will catch those who are responsible for these threats and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.