City schools will trace threatening phone calls

January 23, 1991|By Mark Bomster | Mark Bomster,Evening Sun Staff

Reacting to a recent rash of threats, Baltimore school officials say they now have the ability to trace suspicious incoming calls, using C&P Telephone's Star 57 program.

Yesterday's announcement came after the school system logged eight separate threats, including bomb threats, since Thursday. Though all were unfounded, a bomb threat nonetheless closed Baltimore City College on Monday.

Superintendent Richard C. Hunter met with school principals on Monday to discuss security in the schools.

The new tracing procedures call for anyone receiving a telephone threat at a school to hang up the phone and immediately press Star 57, allowing C&Ps computer to mark the call for tracing.

A statement issued yesterday stresses that bomb threats are illegal under state law, carrying a penalty of a fine of up to $1,000 and/or one year in prison.

"We call upon our students, all parents and the community to act responsibly and to assist us in stopping these false reports," stated Douglas J. Neilson, school department spokesman. He also noted that no explosive devices have been found in the schools since the mid-1970s.

Neilson said that the city is not curtailing field trips at this point due to the threat of terrorism, but "will continue to evaluate this decision."

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