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Students face charges after bomb hoax
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Three Ebenezer Middle School students face a series of charges after a bomb threat hoax Tuesday afternoon.

Hundreds of students were delayed from going home when one student told a teacher that a bomb had been placed under a bus. Effingham County Sheriff’s deputies were called, and bomb-sniffing dogs from the Chatham County Sheriff’s Department were summoned.

“When someone makes a threat like that, we have to take it seriously,” said Superintendent Randy Shearouse. “It’s not a joke. Regardless of how you mean it, you should never do it.”

The canines did not find evidence of an explosive device, and the student, age 14, was taken into custody. He has been charged with terroristic threats and disrupting a public school.

“Anyone caught making any threat to that magnitude, whether it be in person or over the phone, will be prosecuted,” Effingham Sheriff Jimmy

McDuffie said. “These types of threats tie up resources such as law enforcement, firefighters and utilizing canines, all of which cost the taxpayers’ money and prevent them from responding to other incidents.”

Two other 14-year-old students also were arrested and charged with disrupting a public school. All three teens — whose names are not being released because they are juveniles — were turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

During the search, the school was placed on lockdown, meaning no one could enter or leave — just as the school day was about to end. There are nearly 1,000 students at Ebenezer Middle School. The student who is said to have made the threat told a teacher about it around 3:15 p.m.

Shearouse said such threats, even when proven to be false, won’t be taken lightly nor will they be dealt with lightly.

“You’re going to face some serious consequences when that occurs,” he said. “It’s important we deal with it. You don’t take the chance. The students are going to be punished.

Shearouse praised the efforts of the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office.

“The sheriff’s office was wonderful in its response,” he said. “I thought they handled it well.”