Bomb scares threaten open of Lenape Valley classes

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:56

    STANHOPE - Police are investigating two bomb threats that marred the return of students to classes at Lenape Valley Regional High School a little more than a week ago. Schools superintendent Paul Palek, Jr. said he could not discuss elements of the investigation, but added that the district is serious about bringing the individual or individuals responsible for the bomb scares to justice. The incidents took place on Thursday, Sept. 8, and Friday, Sept. 9. Palek said Lenape Valley remained open after regular hours on those days to compensate for time lost, which disrupted the schedules of both parents picking up students and local buses transporting children home from surrounding schools. "This is a major priority of mine," he said. "The disruption to the school and its 900 students is not funny. These people don't understand the magnitude of these situations in the year 2005. Looking to inconvenience this institution n post-Columbine n is taken as a serious threat." Stanhope police and bomb units with two dogs from the Sussex County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene once the school was alerted. No detonating devices were found on school grounds. Michael Reich, chief of the Sussex County Sheriff's Office, said all bomb threats are taken serious. "It can cause a problem," he said. "Anything can happen when law enforcement responds to a call for service. There's always an amount of risk involved." Lenape Valley principal Doug deMarrais said students were withheld from classes for about 90 minutes on both Thursday and Friday. Palek said the perpetrator was probably looking for a way out of class or to cause harm to the institution. "This is certainly not a reflection of our students in the building," he said. "Many of the students are upset about it." Palek said all time missed will be made up. Palek said a letter has also been forwarded to parents of Lenape Valley students to inform them of the incidents.