Bomb threat called into Westminster High School, students evacuated

Westminster High School was evacuated Wednesday after a bomb threat, but school system officials could not confirm whether the threat was related to a student-created demonstration at the school.

The threat came in around 12:40 p.m., according to the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, which investigated.


Cpl. Jon Light said the criminal investigations division searched the school and brought in a bomb-detecting dog but did not find anything suspicious.

Law enforcement continues to investigate the threat, but no motive had been determined as of Wednesday afternoon, Light said.

A student had information about the threat, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Steve Johnson said, and notified school administration, who passed that information on to law enforcement.

After students were evacuated, some of the students walked to Friendship Valley Elementary School and the rest walked to the Career and Technology Center to take shelter from a rain storm during the evacuation, Johnson said. Those at the elementary school were bussed back; those at the Tech Center walked back.

Dismissal took place as regularly scheduled at 2:20 p.m. and after-school activities went on as scheduled.

Carroll County Public Schools spokeswoman Carey Gaddis said it was unknown whether the threat was related to a demonstration by Westminster High students wearing T-shirts featuring images from artist Shepard Fairey's "We the People" illustrations.

On Feb. 16, a few teachers at the school hung the posters — which feature a Muslim, Latina and African-American woman stylized in red, white and blue similar to the Barrack Obama "Hope" posters, which Fairey also designed — and were told to remove them by school administration after the posters were deemed as taking a political stance, which is against school system policy for educators.

Students and alumni organized Wednesday's T-shirt demonstration in response.