Bomb threats can cost schools |

Bomb threats can cost schools

About 100 students failed to show up for class at South Tahoe Middle School on May 7 after rumors circulated through the community that an act of violence was going to break out on campus that day, according to Mike Greenfield, principal of South Tahoe Middle School.

“It was a rumor that was started at school by an individual the day before,” Greenfield said. “That rumor turned into about three others and eventually spread to a bank teller in town who was telling her customers not to send their kids to school that day.”

Greenfield said that there were no specifics to the rumor, just that something was going to happen at the middle school on May 7.

After the middle school’s recent string of bomb threats, this scuttlebutt was enough to push some parents into action.

“I don’t like to give in to bullies and I don’t listen to rumors, but it’s the one time that we don’t listen to the warning that something happens,” said Colleen Karcher, mother of a seventh-grade student. “The only reason I pulled her out was because she was crying.”

The rumor was enough to prompt a response form school officials too.

“They were checking our backpacks when we got off the bus and we had to have recess inside,” said Kelsey Adams, Karcher’s daughter. “That’s the reason I left early.”

Besides causing a scare at school, the rumors could cost the district money.

According to Diane Head, director of financial services for the Lake Tahoe Unified School District, each student who misses school costs the school district between $25 and $30 per day in lost state apportionment money when attendance counts are in effect.

The counts are conducted all year but state apportionment money is based only on counts up to April 15.

Since the recent rumor spread more than two weeks after April 15, the loss to the school district was less than $100 in annual funds, not state apportionment money. It could have been as high as $3,000 had the situation taken place before April 15.

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