‘Threatening note’ prompted shelter in place, investigation at Lakewood Ranch High School

Students at Lakewood Ranch High School were told to shelter in place Thursday while authorities investigated a threatening note.

The threatening note was found Thursday in a girls’ bathroom, according to School District of Manatee County spokesman Mike Barber. Staff and students were told to shelter in place as Manatee County Sheriff’s deputies responded.

Shelter in place means the school’s campus is secured and no one is allowed in or out.

Deputies found a small piece of paper with a vague message that the school would be “blown up,” but were not sure when the note was left, said sheriff’s office spokesman Randy Warren.

He said it appears to be a hoax and there was not a credible bomb threat. The note did not name a specific date or target.

Deputies searched the school and did not find anything suspicious, according to Warren.

No rumors about the alleged threat were circulating through the school and no students were exhibiting odd behavior, according to Warren.

“It’s very difficult to trace that back to somebody,” Warren said.

The shelter in place was later lifted.

“These are probably more common than people realize. Kids are just going to be very foolish in doing something they think is a joke,” Warren said.