AP NEWS
Related topics

Internet Threats Close Wash. School

November 1, 1999

SAMMAMISH, Wash. (AP) _ Classes were canceled Monday at a high school after threats were made in an Internet chat room to kill everyone in the school.

The threats were violent enough and specific enough to be taken seriously, Lake Washington School District spokesman Richard Duval said. King County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating.

``I’ve got a feeling it’s not going to take very long until we find out who’s responsible,″ sheriff’s spokesman John Urquhart said.

School officials in this Seattle suburb learned of the threats over the weekend, but the identity of the person or persons making them was not known, Duval said.

Officials planned to search the school again before deciding whether to reopen it Tuesday.

Teachers had known about the chat room on the Internet, and had been monitoring it for several days, Duval said.

Then on Friday night, he said, someone logged on as ``Phantom″ and said they would kill everyone in the school on Monday. Someone referred to Monday as ``doomsday.″

Chat rooms operate as a sort of text teleconference, where a number of participants can send computer messages seen instantly by all logged in to the room. Participants routinely send messages under nicknames.

In Cleveland, students passed through metal detectors Monday at a school where four boys were arrested last week on charges of planning a racially motivated rampage of bombs and gunfire.

The white suspects pleaded innocent and remained in juvenile detention. Each boy was charged Sunday with delinquency by reason of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, murder or kidnapping and juvenile counts of inducing panic, inciting to violence and possession of criminal tools: a school map that authorities said was marked with shooting locations.

AP RADIO
Update hourly