For six years or more the Marble Falls High School campus has been spared this juvenile indignity, and then on Monday a routine campus inspection discovered a crude graffiti message on a bathroom wall.
The message was a bomb threat.
So at 2:45 p.m., more than 1,100 students, their teachers, coaches, custodial staff, office workers and others had to evacuate the building while the Marble Falls Police Department conducted a thorough sweep.
Luckily no bomb was found, but everyone was inconvenienced.
Classes had to be stopped, police and firefighters were pulled out of service and in general everyone had to put up with a stupid, thoughtless prank.
There is nothing funny about a bomb threat. In the world of post-Sept. 11, 2001, a world that has witnessed the insanity of the Columbine High School shootings and other campus tragedies that followed, there is nothing amusing about bomb threats or other campus shenanigans of a similar nature.
No one thinks it’s cute.
No one thinks it’s funny.
The hoaxsters have no idea the kind of fear that strikes parents when they hear a bomb threat has been made at the school their children attend.
They are all too aware of the ephemeral nature of life, and don’t take kindly to threats against their flesh-and-blood. Their children are the future, and no one wants them placed in jeopardy.
The irony is not lost on many of us. At the same time the best and brightest of the MFHS Mustangs are in Washington, D.C., singing in an open venue at the White House, helping to put Marble Falls on the map, some miscreant or miscreants is tagging threats in a restroom like a rat who wants to get noticed.
What’s next? Psychologists say children with anti-social tendencies tend to gravitate toward more and more deadlier crimes. Certainly that’s not the case in Marble Falls; or is this just some pitiful cry in the wilderness of teen angst?
Do they need a message in a bottle?
Regardless, the punk or punks who perpetrated this little “joke” at the high school must face punishment. They must learn there is nothing cool, hip, chill, neat, phat or amusing about a bomb threat.
Lives are put at risk. Property is at stake.
Bomb threats are the province of the asinine and gutless fools.
Their peers should turn them in as a reward for their stupidity and they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law to set an example for other would-be jokers.
They should have the book thrown at them.
In legal parlance, threatening to set off a bomb at a high school is classified under the Texas Penal Code as a terroristic threat.
The state takes a dim view of such crimes, even when they involve juveniles.
Depending on the age of the perpetrator and whether the crime threatened a public servant, the offense can be classified as Class A misdemeanor and can even carry some state jail time.
Bomb threats are serious business, and students need to understand these incidents have to be taken seriously. Anyone who has information in this case should call the Police Department at (830) 693-3611.
In the meantime, the student or students behind this episode should feel nothing but shame. If the pupil had any courage, he or she would surrender to the authorities.