Sunday, July 12, 2020
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School bomb threat stopped in Thurmont, Md.

A Catoctin High School student was arrested last week in connection with a meticulous plot she had created to kill several random people at the school, including herself, the Associated Press reports from Thurmont, Maryland.

Nichole Cevario, 18, of Thurmont, was turned over to the sheriff’s office in Frederick County after police found a shotgun, ammunition, and bomb-making materials, such as nails and fireworks, in her home. Police were acting on a tip from one of Ms Cevario’s parents, who reported the plot to school officials Thursday.

According to police, she had quite clearly spelled out plans to carry out the attack on April 5. “This attack was prevented by the parents, who stepped forward,” the AP quoted Sheriff Charles Jenkins as saying. Her diary showed “a lot of frustration in her personal life,” although no evidence of actual bullying was found therein.

She’s in custody, pending her release from the hospital, where she’s being treated for an undisclosed mental health condition. Police didn’t find an actual bomb at her house, but they plan to serve her with an arrest warrant after she’s released from the hospital, based on her alleged possession of explosive material with the intent to create a destructive device and possession of incendiary material with the intent to create a destructive device.

The school’s principal, Bernie Quesada, posted the following letter, dated yesterday, on the school website:

Dear CHS Families:

I am writing to follow up on the FindOutFirst notice I sent Thursday, March 23. Our excellent partnership with our families and local law enforcement partners has yielded confirmation that the possible threat we advised you of has been addressed to keep our school safe. As you know we took action immediately together with our law enforcement partners to remove the student involved from the campus.

The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with FCPS, has conducted a thorough investigation. I am providing you a link to their news release so you can see the findings they are able to share today: (link)

I again want to assure you that no one at our school was harmed, no individual was directly threatened, and there were no weapons or other dangerous materials at our school.

We take all threats concerning student safety extremely seriously, as does law enforcement. While we handled this incident quickly and appropriately, we always ask for your help in controlling rumors, particularly social media rumors. The bottom line is this: We keep our school safe, and we will continue to work together as a community to keep it safe.

School counselors are available to any student who would like to speak with them. As always, administrators, teachers and all staff are trusted adults to whom students, parents and others may express any concern about safety at any time. Please feel free to call the school office at 240-236-8100.

FCPS also publishes the Safe Schools Tip Hotline number so that anyone can communicate concerns at any time: 1-877-636-6332. Working together, we will continue to keep our school community a safe place to learn.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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