Juvenile in custody, 9 NW Indiana schools to reopen after bomb threat

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A juvenile is in custody and nine schools in northwest Indiana will reopen Wednesday after a bomb threat. (WLS)

A juvenile is in custody and nine schools in northwest Indiana will reopen Wednesday after a bomb threat.

Larry Veracco, superintendent of Lake Central School Corporation, said in a release that someone made a threatening phone call to police in St. John and Schererville Monday night. The 911 caller said "bombs would result in injuries to many people" and specifically mentioned Homan Elementary in Schererville.

Police and school administrators said they don't believe the juvenile in custody had the capability to follow through on the threats that were made.

"There was no concern that this individual had any of the mechanisms or devises that could have been used to carry this threat out," said Chief James Kveton, St. John police.

District officials decided to close Kolling Elementary and Clark Middle School in St. John and Homan Tuesday to allow local police, state troopers and K9 units to search the buildings. Veracco said there was no threat to the other seven buildings in the district.

"You err on the side of student safety, especially because Homan was specifically named. That tipped the scale," Veracco said.

The district notified parents of the shutdown via robocall Tuesday morning. Some parents decided to pull their kids out of class even if those buildings were not targeted.

"It's a little unsettling when you hear something like this," said Michelle Walker, a parent.

Veracco said officials will send out a follow-up message once the inspection is complete. Authorities promised diligence in the meantime.

Several other schools were closed Tuesday as a precaution:

-Crown Point Christian School in St. John
-St. John Evangelist School in St. John
-St. Michael School in Schererville
-Hammond Baptist Grade School in Schererville
-Hammond Baptist Junior High School in Schererville
-Hammond Baptist High School in Schererville

Thousands of students were affected by the closures.

"It's kind of creepy that people are sending bomb threats to the school," said Jakob Harper, student, Hammond Baptist High School. "I think it's some prank that somebody is doing."

"Our first concern was the safety of our students, so that's what made the decision to call off school," said James Woosley, principal, Hammond Baptist High School.
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