Wirt County student expelled for bomb threat

ELIZABETH – The Wirt County Board of Education has expelled a student over a bomb threat last month.

Board members voted to expel the student for 365 days for violations of state code, Superintendent Dan Metz said.

“We are not trying to make a statement, but this is what happens and should happen,” Metz said.

Metz declined to identify the student or provide any information about the student or the expulsion. Instead, he provided a copy of the board’s Jan. 8 meeting minutes.

“The reasons for the expulsion are within the minutes of the board,” he said. “It spells out why the student was expelled.”

All Wirt County schools were placed on lockdown after a bomb threat was made Dec. 17 at the high school. The threat came just two days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn.

West Virginia State Police responded along with the Wirt County Sheriff’s Office, Elizabeth-Wirt Volunteer Fire Department, Wirt emergency officials and a bomb-sniffing dog. The school was swept, nothing was found and students were returned to the school.

Sheriff Keith Wilson declined to specify how officials were made aware of the threat.

Law enforcement reviewed video from the school to narrow the search for suspects, the sheriff said. A 16-year-old girl was interviewed and confessed during a second interview, Wilson said.

“She was arrested the day we got the confession,” he said.

State Police placed the girl in custody and charged her with the false report of a bomb, Wilson said. The juvenile remains in custody pending a hearing next week in circuit court.

Wirt County Prosecuting Attorney Ted Davitan did not return a call seeking comment.

Metz said he was extremely pleased with the local law enforcement and their work to solve the case.

“They solved it. It didn’t land in their lap. They worked hard on it,” he said.