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Classes canceled at northern MN school after bomb threat

BEMIDJI—Students at Cass Lake-Bena schools went home early Thursday, Feb. 2, after school district staff heard of a bomb threat there.

Superintendent Rochelle Johnson said students at the school district's combined high school and middle school building were evacuated two miles away to the district's Area Learning Center after she heard of the threat at about 10 a.m. Thursday.

Students in all grades were released at 11:30 a.m. School continued as normal at the district's elementary building, Johnson said, except for the early release.

"We don't know when we're going to get the all clear, so then we're just going to do an early release," Johnson said shortly before students started filing onto buses to head home.

Police beefed up their presence at the high school and are currently investigating the threat.

Johnson said the evacuation is the district's standard operating procedure when it receives a bomb threat. She said this is the second time a district building has been threatened in that manner during her tenure.

The Minnesota Department of Education's website puts the district's total enrollment at about 1,200 students, with about 560 in the middle and high school grades.

Joe Bowen

Joe Bowen covers education and health for the Bemidji Pioneer.

He is a Minneapolis native and a 2009 graduate of St. John's University. Before moving to Bemidji, Bowen covered education, local politics, crime, and everything in between for the Perham Focus in Perham, Minnesota, and Sun Newspapers in suburban Minneapolis.

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