ROCKINGHAM COUNTY -- A few Rockingham County students face misdemeanor and felony charges for making multiple bomb threats during the past couple months. The county's sheriff said the students made those threats at three different schools. Their superintendent said those students have been expelled for the next year.
Mike Armstrong is the deputy fire marshal for the county. He's been working with the sheriff's office and school leaders to investigate these bomb threats. Armstrong said this is a serious matter.
"I think some of the students believe this is just a prank. It's a joke. I'm going to get out of school. They need to understand that it's not. They need to understand that they will be charged with a criminal act," said Armstrong.
Armstrong said because two of the students are over 15 years old, they face felony charges for making a bomb threat. The younger students face misdemeanor charges for the same crime. The suspects could have to serve time in the juvenile department for those threats. Armstrong said they will have to pay restitution costs for all of the resources county leaders used to ensure the safety of the schools.
One of those threats happened on Dec. 14th at Frank Hillyard Middle School in Broadway. That was the same day that the shooting happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
Armstrong said since that tragedy happened, authorities want to be extra careful when dealing with these threats. He said in all, five students made several threats at Frank Hillyard, Montevideo Middle School and Spotswood High School.