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School officials search for source of bomb threat

Students found a bomb threat on a bathroom wall at Dixie Hollins High School Tuesday. Nothing suspicious was found in the school.

Published August 24, 2005

ST. PETERSBURG - Administrators at Dixie Hollins High School examined surveillance tapes Wednesday to determine who might have written a bomb threat on a restroom wall.

Four students discovered the threat Tuesday afternoon and reported it to administrators, prompting a room-to-room search by police and sheriff's deputies and a slight increase in absences Wednesday. The threat, scrawled in marker on a tile wall, said a bomb would be detonated at "11 o'clock" Wednesday.

The search by law enforcement Tuesday night turned up nothing suspicious. On Wednesday, however, school administrators identified two students they want to interview in connection with the incident. The students were seen on video surveillance entering the restroom. Neither student came to school Wednesday.

Dixie Hollins has 82 surveillance cameras, principal Mike Bohnet said.

Bohnet had assured parents in a phone message Tuesday night that the school was safe, but said adminstrators would issue excused absences to students who came to school Thursday with a note.

The school's absentee rate increased about 10 percent from its normal level of about 250 to 300 students a day, district officials said. About 2,200 students attend the school at 4940 62nd St. N.

Several parents said Wednesday the threat did not concern them. "They get this stuff all the time," said Mark Carroll as he dropped off his 10th grade daughter near the school's front entrance.

[Last modified August 24, 2005, 18:11:17]

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