Sep. 9—During a special called meeting of the Cullman City School Board Thursday morning, Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff addressed recent bomb threats and said the perpetrators will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Over the past few weeks, Cullman High School and Cullman Middle School have received bomb threats from anonymous callers, with the call to the middle school coming during the school day and causing the evacuation of the school. West Point Middle School and the Cullman County Courthouse have also received bomb threats in the past week.
Kallhoff reassured parents that the city's schools are safe, and said every school resource officer and administrator are consistently patrolling the interior and exterior of their schools.
Exterior doors are locked during the day, with visitors not allowed inside unless they have a confirmed reason to be on campus, he said.
Kallhoff said the Cullman Police Department is also on close patrol notice for all five city schools and teachers are trained in how to evacuate schools quickly and safely.
"The middle school did it this week and did a fantastic job, and I wanted to tell them thank you," he said. "If it happens at another school, we'll do it the same way: orderly and safely. We'll get our kids out of the school."
When a threat is called in, the police department does a thorough search of the school before anyone else is allowed inside, he said.
Kallhoff also passed along a message to whoever has been calling in the threats.
"I want to say to the person or persons calling in these threats will be caught, and when they are, this board will work with the police department and the district attorney's office to pursue the maximum consequence that's allowed by law for making terrorist threats against a school," he said.
Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry told The Times earlier this week that calling in a bomb threat is a crime that can carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
"It falls under the category of making a terroristic threat, which is a felony offense," said Gentry.
Whether a device is actually present has no bearing on the charge: an offender who causes an evacuation of a building, a school, or creates "other serious public inconvenience" by threatening violence, according to the law, will face prosecution for making a terrorist threat — a Class C felony — if apprehended.