A Burnet Middle School student remained in custody Friday after police say he caused a bomb scare at his school. The incident happened Thursday just as the town of Burnet was preparing for a weekend festival. Work crews were setting up displays and tents on the town square while a few blocks away students were being evacuated from the Burnet Middle School.
Students were back in class Friday morning, one day after what Police Chief Paul Nelson described as a very close call.
"We dodged a major, a major incident. No doubt in my mind it was going to happen," said Police Chief Paul Nelson.
The scare started with the discovery of a handwritten note in a school bathroom.
"The note stated that there were three bombs on the campus around 6th period today (Thursday) the building, the school would go up in flames, and if you don't take me serious I do have a pistol," said Chief Nelson.
As the school was evacuated emergency responders search rooms and students.
"They just said it was a drill," said middle school student Hannah George who also said she was among those searched by police at the scene.
No weapons were found, but a 14-year-old, 8th grader who was taken into custody, allegedly confessed to writing the note. When investigators searched the 8th grader's home, as a precaution, they removed his mother's gun, ammunition and a knife.
"He is still angry of what ever happened," said the Chief.
According to Chief Nelson, the teenager recently started going to Burnet Middle School and when he spoke to investigators he allegedly claimed he was being bullied by classmates.
"Not making any excuses at all, but he obviously needs help and hopefully he will be getting that soon."
By Friday afternoon Chief Nelson said his investigators could not verify the truth to the 8th Grader's claim that he had been bullied. The only motive the Chief could offer was the teenager was having "problems in his personal life."
School Superintendent, Keith McBurnett, was not aware of the student's claim of bullying until contacted by FOX 7. He declined to do an on camera interview but said Burnet Consolidated ISD has a comprehensive anti-bulling program. There are no plans to ramp up the program at the Middle School right now because of the incident, according to Superintendent McBurnett, but he did say, in all cases of Bullying, if bullies are identified there will be disciplinary action for them. A full review into the incident by police and school administrators is expected to take place next week.
While questions remain about a motive, the quick response Thursday by authorities has brought some relief for parents.
"I feel better now that I know who did it that they caught the person … it wasn't a crazy adult … she didn't go to school today," said middle school mom Katy George.
The 8th grader is not being identified. He is being held in a juvenile detention center charged with making a false report or alarm.