NEWS- Mea culpa: Alleged Henley hoax bombers <i>not</i> in class
In the Hook's April 26 story, "Welcomed back: Alleged school bomb hoaxer back in school," a Henley Middle School student alleged that one of the two boys accused of being involved in a March 27 bomb scare at Henley and Brownsville Elementary schools was back in class. In response to the allegation, Albemarle County School officials checked Henley's attendance records and say that neither of the two students arrested for their alleged part in the incidents was back in school.
"What we know is that they have not attended classes," says Steele Howen, county schools' executive director of administrative services.
Howen concedes that it's possible the accused hoaxers could have been on school grounds.
"They shouldn't be," she says. "If they came back to meet with their principal, they would be in the presence of their parents or a school administrator, by appointment. But, to my understanding, that has not occurred."
In response to this information, calls placed to the story's source and to the accused hoaxer's attorney were not returned by press time.
Howen says the accused students might eventually be allowed to re-enroll.
"That's all pending [the upcoming trial] and what our school board decides to do, which, of course, remains to be seen," she says.
The two accused hoaxers face four counts each of constructing and/or planting a hoax bomb device. Among the items found at Henley were a cylinder with protruding wires, a dark-colored tube taped to a pole, and a note with a red dripping stain and an "anarchy" symbol. The two students go to trial in juvenile court on May 9. If convicted, they could be incarcerated until they turn 21.
In the wake of this regrettable error, the Hook apologizes and has revised its policies for dealing with all unnamed sources, particularly juveniles.–with reporting by Lindsay Barnes