SHS lockdown happened because of bomb threat note

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Tuesday's lockdown at Socorro High School was prompted by a threatening note.

Socorro Police Department Chief George Van Winkle said SPD received a call about 11:39 a.m. from the school. He said a note was left by the door of a classroom indicating there was a bomb at the school. The classroom was in the portable buildings on the side of the school, not the main building.

Van Winkle said basically all the note said was there was a bomb, and it called the teacher a name.

Superintendent Randall Earwood said when the handwritten note was found, the school called the Socorro Police Department, and officers conducted an investigation.

"The police were able to find out who did it," Earwood said.

"We narrowed it down," Van Winkle said, "but I wouldn't specifically say we had hard core evidence to prove that."

Van Winkle said the incident is still under investigation. He said detectives interviewed all the students in the classroom; there were about 10. Police also determined there was no bomb after doing a thorough check of the buildings.

"We take all threats seriously, so we look into all those matters," Van Winkle said.

Earwood said there was no danger to the teacher, and everyone was safe at the high school. He said he can't give specifics on what the note said because disciplinary action is still ongoing.

"There is a process we have to go through when we discipline a student, and I don't want to compromise that process," he said.

Earwood said the process is a little more involved than simply notifying the student's parents. He explained since it is a student issue, the school district has to be very careful on the information they release.

Disciplinary action can include long-term suspension, Earwood said, which holds the potential for serious consequences, such as being held back a grade.

Van Winkle said a bomb scare charge is a fourth-degree felony. In New Mexico, a conviction on a fourth-degree felony can mean up to 18 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

Earwood stressed that at no time were students, faculty or staff in any danger.

"I would also like to thank the Socorro Police Department for their prompt response to the call that was made and their thorough investigation," Earwood said.