St. Joseph County sheriff upset over Penn bomb threats - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

St. Joseph County sheriff upset over Penn bomb threats


A threat made by a Penn High School student is setting off alarms with police. The St. Joseph County Sheriff says the school's administration is sweeping a recent bomb threat under the rug and they say this isn't the first time.

Police say earlier this week, Penn High School resource officer Lt. Chris DeMeyer was informed by the school's principal that a bomb threat note had been found on December 10th in a boy's bathroom. Police says it's the same student that made a similar threat back in October.

"There are other things that occur, we find out after the facts after the fact and some of them are very serious and threatening in nature," says Sheriff Chancre.

The debate stirring between the Sheriffs department and the school is whether or not the resource officer was asked to not write a police report. DeMeyer told St. Joseph County Sheriff Frank Canarecci that he met with school officials, who asked him not to write a police report about the incident. However, school administrators says this isn't true.

"We are always going to follow the law," says Penn Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker.

Penn Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker says after checking with his employees, they followed the right protocol. They asked the resource officer to do the same.

"They indicated to me that they wanted the officer to do whatever protocol was appropriate," says Dr. Thacker.

News over the threat quickly spread to parents, who feel Penn administrators aren't being truthful.

"When the issues involve drugs in school or a student threatening to bomb the school not once but twice, that's when police need to be involved," says Mary Dunfee, concerned parent.

"I feel that Penn is one of the best academic schools in the state, but are we the safest? Obviously not!," says Judy Allie, concerned parent.

Superintendent Thacker assures parents safety is their number one goal.

"Our highest priority has always been the safety of our school environment," says Dr. Thacker.

By speaking out, Sheriff Canarecci hopes to build a stronger relationship with the school.

Sheriff department representatives plan to sit down with school administrators at their next security meeting. The meeting is scheduled for January.

The Sheriff says the student was suspended after the first threat and sent to an alternative school. A psychological report was done, saying the student was not a threat to anyone. He was allowed back into Penn. The Sheriff says he is expected to be expelled. The school has not confirmed any of this yet.

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