The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

March 7, 2013

Bomb threat prank no laughing matter for THS student

Calvin Adkins

TARBORO — What may have started off as a laughing matter for a Tarboro High School student, ended with him facing serious consequences.

Darrell Lamont Murphy, 17, allegedly made a telephone call from a classroom to a teacher and told her that he was going to "blow it up."

School administrators immediately reacted to the call and found that it came from inside the building. An investigation led the administrators and the school's resource officer to the classroom where the call originated. After questioning students there, Murphy was found to be the culprit, according to a Tarboro Police Department press release. The report said that Murphy said that he was just "playing around" and he "would not do anything like that." The hoax did not interrupt classes.

"Due to the quick response by school administration and Tarboro Police Department, there was no need to evacuate the school or take any other necessary precautionary steps," said ECPS Superintendent John Farrelly. "The school system will follow its policies and procedures in addressing disciplinary action regarding this incident. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated in our school system.”  

In regards to bomb threats, the Edgecombe County Public School Student Code of Conduct states, “No student shall make a bomb threat by making a false report that a device designed to cause damage or destruction by explosion, blasting, or burning is located on school premises. (b) No student shall perpetrate a bomb hoax by placing or concealing on school premises a device intended to cause any person to believe the device to be a bomb."

Should a student in grades six through twelve violate that policy they will be punished according to the district's disciplinary guidelines.

The policy states that all level three offenses will be referred to a school administrator who will make a recommendation regarding disciplinary measures to the superintendent. The school principal will assign the student a short-term out-of-school suspension for up to 10 days or recommend long-term out-of-school suspension to the superintendent.

The number of days will be dependent upon the seriousness of the offense and the student’s prior record of behavior offenses," the policy states.

"It's really a stupid thing to do," said Damon Williams, the chief of THE Tarboro Police Department. "Whether you're doing it for a joke or not, we take it serious. Anyone who is caught doing it, whether you meant it or not, will face the full weight of the justice system."