Reginald Walker, 18, has been arrested and charged with two counts of making false bomb threats to Meridian High School. The first happened Sept. 26. The next followed on Oct. 3.
According to investigators Walker made the threats because he wanted to get out of school. Now he is out and could remain so for some time. Since his arrest, Walker has been expelled from Meridian High, and as of Monday afternoon, was still being held in the Lauderdale County Jail on $20,000 bond.
"Bomb threats are not pranks," said Dr. Janet McLin, MPS superintendent. "Bomb threats are felonies."
Within the past year, more than 13 bomb threats have been made to schools within the Meridian Public School District. As in other areas, investigators said making such threats has become a significant problem, which must be taken seriously.
"You could consider this a terrorist attack," said the MPD's juvenile detective, Denise McMullen. "A terrorist act is inflicting pain."
"We're going to do everything we can to assist the district attorney in prosecuting those responsible," said Police Chief Benny Dubose. "For people who do this, we just need to put them away."
The maximum penalty for making a false bomb threat is five years in prison and $1,000 fine. School officials said if bomb threats continue, the district will have to make up the lost class time some way, possibly by having school on Saturdays.
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