Stillwater police have detained three junior high students in connection with bomb threats Tuesday and Wednesday and expect to detain more after a third threat was found Thursday morning at Stillwater Junior High.

They believe all the notes are related, said Police Chief Norman McNickle.

“We believe we know the identity of the people who were responsible for the notes, and that information will eventually be presented to the district attorney’s office,” he said.

Two notes were found Thursday after teachers and police searched the building, said Dr. Ann Caine, superintendent.

“I’m not sure how it happened, but we had heard there might be more notes today,” she said from the junior high.

School officials and police decided not to evacuate the school, but instead to follow a shelter-in-place practice in which teachers searched their classrooms and police searched the common areas of the school, Caine said.

“We do not believe it was a credible threat, but we didn’t want to ignore it,” she said.

When nothing besides the notes was found, she said, authorities decided not to disrupt the school day. The searches occurred before lunch, and after lunch, students were back in class for their normal routines, she said.

“Based on what we know from interviews conducted with kids at the school, we don’t believe this would be a credible threat,” McNickle said. He added that “overwhelming evidence” indicated the third note was an attempt to get out of school and “there is no explosive device.”

Police searched the school while students stayed in their classrooms. McNickle said this morning that students would be sent to lunch as soon as the sweep was completed.

“I know some parents are going to disagree with the decision,” he said. “It’s not something made lightly or cavalierly. We believe the students are absolutely safe in this building as of this moment or an evacuation would have been made.”

The notes threatening bombs appear to have been written and placed in the school by a group of friends or acquaintances, he said.

The students detained were released to their parents, which is the usual protocol for juveniles, he added.

Parents of fewer than 15 students told school officials they kept their children out of school Thursday because of the threats, Caine said.

“We are going to talk to the kids today before they go home about how it is a very serious matter to make threats and discuss the action and the consequences that go with it,” Caine said Thursday. “It is a felony.”

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