CORNELIUS – It's been a stressful and controversial couple of weeks for Hough High School students, parents, faculty and staff, as police were called to the campus twice on April 23 to investigate two separate bomb threats.
The previous week, Hough High School’s Student Resource Officer Winston Douglas resigned from the Cornelius Police Department after sending “inappropriate and flirtatious” text messages to an 18-year-old female student.
At approximately 8:18 a.m. April 23, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police received a 911 call in reference to a bomb threat at the high school’s campus in Cornelius.
The school was immediately evacuated and the Cornelius police, Charlotte-Mecklenburg policet, Cornelius-Lemley Fire Rescue and Charlotte-Mecklenburg School officials searched the building.
During that search, officials determined there was no device found and students, faculty and staff were returned to class at 9:40 a.m.
Things quieted down until around 12:15 p.m., when an officer at the school was notified about a suspicious package in a bathroom.
Officers responded and found a package in an area that had been previously searched and cleared.
The package was placed in an obvious manner and made to look suspicious, according to the Cornelius police report.
A second evacuation was ordered and CMPD bomb technicians were called in for assistance.
Cornelius police reported that the bomb technicians found the package to be safe and that the entire incident was likely a student’s “hoax.”
Cornelius police will continue the investigation to determine who perpetrated this hoax.
“This type of crime is very disruptive to the schools and very costly to investigate,” Cornelius police said in a news release.
CMS said Wednesday morning, April 24, that additional Cornelius officers were dispatched to the school while classes are back on regular schedule.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools had six bomb threats reported in the 2011-12 school year. Hough had a bomb threat in the 2010-11 school year, but not one in 2011-12.
A student may be suspended for a full year or indefinitely expelled for bringing a destructive device, including explosives or firearms, to school. Bomb threats carry at least a 10-day suspension, up to expulsion.
The Cornelius Police Department is requesting assistance to help identify the suspects in this case.
If you have any information that could be helpful in identifying the suspect or suspects in this case, contact the Cornelius Police immediately. Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 704-892-7773.
Callers can remain anonymous.