published Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Bomb scare evacuates LaFayette High School

Students at LaFayette High School in North Georgia were sent home Friday morning after someone wrote a message on a bathroom wall warning of a bomb in the building, officials said.

The boys' bathroom was searched and a small device was found inside a box in the sink, but it wasn't a bomb, said Walker County Schools spokeswoman Elaine Womack.

While LaFayette police deemed the threat a false alarm, it was taken seriously, Womack said. "I think everyone took this very seriously," she said. "The whole thing was disturbing."

This was the second bomb threat at LaFayette High School this school year, Womack said. The first, which was in the fall, was determined to be a prank, she said.

False bomb threats aren't uncommon, Womack said, but typically if a student is playing a prank, the threat is just a handwritten note.

LaFayette Public Safety Director Tommy Freeman said he got a call around 10 a.m. Friday and brought in a dog to help investigate.

But officials decided students shouldn't stand in the cold and rain for several hours while the building was searched, so school buses were called after about two hours and students were sent home.

The threat still was under investigation Friday afternoon, and no arrests had been made.

Anyone with information about the bomb threat is asked to call the LaFayette Department of Public Safety at 706-639-1540 or contact Resource Officer Billy Mullis at

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about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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