WASHINGTONVILLE – Washingtonville High School was evacuated Friday after what initially appeared to be a bomb scare turned out to be a boy’s boast about a high grade. Washingtonville Police Chief Stephen Bogert said the happy 14-year-old meant to write “I got a bomb grade” on the blackboard.
But he didn’t finish writing the last word before the alarm was sounded. “Bomb” has been used for years as boastful slang similar to “great” or “the best.” The entire high school was cleared immediately and students were sent to the middle school where they remained the rest of the school day.
The high school enrollment is approximately 1,500. Bogert characterized the incident as “more of a misunderstanding than a bomb threat.” “We don’t believe we will be charging him,” Bogert said. Police questioned the boy, whose name was not released, about two hours after the incident.
It was unclear who sounded the alarm.
An update on the Washingtonville School District website said police found no credible threat and that the building was safe. The high school was to remain open until 7 p.m. to allow students to collect their belongings.
This is the third day in a row that a school in Orange County has been shut down because of a bomb scare.
Some 1,600 Monroe-Woodbury Middle School students were moved to the high school auditorium and then dismissed early on Thursday after a scrawled bomb threat was discovered on the wall inside a bathroom stall.
The incident occurred one day after a similar bomb threat was found in a Monroe-Woodbury High School bathroom and caused the evacuation of that school.
No bombs were found after either of those two threats.
On Friday, Washingtonville police were assisted by Blooming Grove police, two sheriff’s department canine units and two Metropolitan Transportation Authority canine units, Bogert said.