Lake Oswego Junior High School was evacuated Friday morning after a bomb threat was found taped to the wall of a girls' bathroom, but police said no explosive devices were found during a thorough search of the building.
"Everybody is safe," said Lake Oswego Police Lt. Darryl Wrisley, "and there is no indication of a bomb."
Lake Oswego Police responded to the school on Country Club Road shortly after 9 a.m., Wrisley said. Officers quickly blocked off the entrance to the school and prevented anyone from entering the driveway, including drivers of a small school bus and a maintenance truck.
At the same time, Lake Oswego School District administrators evacuated the school, moving students and staff to nearby Uplands Elementary School. Classes were canceled for the rest of the day, and buses began ferrying students home from the emergency staging area at around 11:30 a.m.
Law enforcement officers from a variety of agencies were involved in the search, including the Portland Police Bureau bomb squad and bomb-sniffing dogs. Initially, students were not allowed to retrieve their belongings from the school, but access to the building was restored by mid-afternoon.
Wrisley told The Review that phony bomb threats are common and have been used in the past by some students to avoid testing. Police records indicate that Friday's bomb threat was the first in the city this year, but there have been 11 other bomb threats citywide — including at schools — since May 2012. (There were two bomb threats citywide last year, one in 2015, five in 2014, none in 2013 and three in 2012.)
The Review's records indicate at least three bomb threats were receieved within a two-week period at LOSD schools in 2014. At the time, district Communications Director Nancy Duin recalled similar incidents in the mid-2000s at Lakeridge High School in which a student made several threats but was eventually caught.
If a suspect is arrested, Wrisley said, he or she could be charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.