Stupid squared

A Cleveland Heights teen-ager came up with a truly stupid way to get out of an algebra test, say police. The boy phoned in a bomb threat. When the school wasn’t closed, he tried again and again. Police traced the calls to the student’s cell phone and to a pay phone with a nearby video camera that caught the boy getting change for the call. He was arrested — after the algebra test.

About Joanne


  1. My dad used to teach geology at a smallish Ohio commuter college.

    Regularly, on days when there were big exams scheduled, he’d be home early – some idiot would phone in a fake bomb threat to get out of the exam.

    I also remember being shepherded out of one of the buildings on the U of M campus when I was an undergrad for a similar reason – we all went and stood halfway across campus while the police and bomb squad swept the building. Nothing was found, of course.

    I’m a little surprised the school in this incident wasn’t closed immediately; it always seemed on college campuses that if a bomb threat was phoned in it was taken *extremely* seriously, even when the cops knew it was midterms or finals week. (Maybe that’s a legacy of 70s unrest, I don’t know).

    I’m glad they caught the guy. Don’t parents read their kids “The Boy who Cried Wolf” any more?

  2. RedRaven says:

    If my kid was going to that school and they didn’t evacuate, I’d be suing for putting my child in danger. Tests be damned!


  3. At my high school, we usually were evacuated when bomb threats were phoned in (even for the one that was phoned in on the pay phone right outside of the office). But we were a private high school. I know the public school district’s policy was to not evacuate. They had received so many threats that they didn’t bother evacuating anymore. I never really understood that . . . I always thought better safe than sorry, especially after all of the much-publicized school violence.

  4. “He was arrested — after the algebra test.” Almost perfect. Better would have been to chain him to the desk in the testing room, but there’s probably some reason they can’t do that…

  5. Just John says:

    markm: Yes, the reason is there might be a bomb threat phoned in and they’d have to haul his entire desk out, and who wants to do that?

  6. My younger brother went to public middle school in the early-to-mid 1990s, and he got evacuated a lot for these bomb threats called in by students. I was already in the high school and no one called in bomb threats there for some reason.

  7. A few years ago, there were half a dozen bomb threats called in to a local university during the exam period. The university’s administration was able to figure out which students had exams in the threatened buildings on those specific days – and after questioning the dozen or so students who did, got a confession.

  8. People who really do plant bombs typically don’t call in threats, I believe. McVeigh didn’t, for instance.

  9. Thank you for information !