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Bomb Threat Empties School Second Straight Day, But Attendance Up

August 26, 1987

ARCADIA, Fla. (AP) _ For the second straight day a bomb threat Wednesday forced evacuation of an eleed just before 8 a.m. EDT to a radio station.

Paul Ayers, program director at WOKD-FM, said he answered the telephone and a man said: ″I broke into Memorial Elementary last night. I placed two bombs in the air conditioning ducts. They’re going to explode.″

Ayers alerted the sheriff’s office and deputies evacuated children and staff while they conducted a half-hour search. Nothing was found and classes resumed, said Memorial Elementary School Principal Donald Knoche.

After two bomb threats Tuesday, officials put tracing equipment on school telephone lines to try to catch the caller.

Attendance at Memorial was 410, better than the previous two days but still far below the anticipated enrollment of 693 children.

Some parents in this rural community called for a week-long boycott to protest a court order that returned the Ray brothers to class when the term started Monday.

School officials barred Ricky, 10, Robert, 9 and Randy, 8, from school last fall after the boys tested positive for antibodies to the AIDS virus. The boys’ parents sued, claiming discrimination, and a federal judge in Tampa ruled the youngsters should be educated with other children.

The Ray boys, all hemophiliacs, show no symptoms of the disease itself, according to their doctors. Physicians say they probably were exposed to the acquired immune deficiency virus through blood plasma products they take to help their blood clot in case of injury.

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