Elementary school students charged after bomb plot discovered

Elementary school students charged after bomb plot discovered

December 13th, 2013 by Tyler Jett in Local Regional News

A pair of Chattooga County, Ga., eighth-graders face criminal charges after police said they left a notebook containing threatening information at school last week.

Sheriff Mark Schrader said a teacher found the notebook Dec. 4 on a bench outside Lyerly Elementary School, which houses about 400 students from kindergarten through eighth grade.

He said the notebook contained lists of firearms, of items needed to make a bomb, and of other students. The teacher also found a hand-drawn map of the area around the school on Oak Hill Road in Lyerly.

Schrader said eight sheriff's deputies, as well as a Georgia Bureau of Investigation bomb squad technician, came to the school and searched for anything that might explode. They didn't find anything, but Principal Barry Peppers told investigators he thought he knew who owned the notebook.

Peppers apparently looked at the names of students listed in the book and figured out who took classes with those students. Schrader declined to elaborate on how Peppers narrowed the list of suspects down to a 15-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy.

"Good work from the principal -- that's about as far as we can go with that," Schrader said.

Peppers did not return multiple calls seeking comment Thursday.

After figuring out which students wrote in the notebook, Schrader said, investigators went to the students' houses. They did not find any bomb-making ingredients, but Schrader said they found writings similar to those in the notebooks. Schrader would not say specifically what the students wrote.

"It was just some different things that were related to the school," he said.

The identities of the students have not been released. But Schrader said the sheriff's office filed a juvenile complaint form against the boy and girl earlier this week.

The students have been charged with disruption of public school, and their cases will play out in Chattooga County Juvenile Court.

Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at tjett@timesfreepress.com.