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Kona teens charged after fake bomb found at middle school

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Police have charged two Konawaena Middle School students with terroristic threatening in connection with a fake homemade bomb confiscated at the school Wednesday.

Kona patrol officers responded to the school Thursday afternoon in response to a report that school officials had confiscated what appeared to be a homemade bomb from the backpack of a 13-year-old boy on Wednesday and taken to the vice principal’s office. It had been given to the 13-year-old boy by a 14-year-old boy, who is also a student at the school.

Police secured the building and called an Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal team from Oahu. Officials determined the device — an aluminum can with electronic parts and wires — was a fake.

Both students were arrested at the school at 2:30 p.m. After consulting with Hawaii County prosecutors, police charged each of them at 3:30 p.m. with first-degree terroristic threatening. They were release to the custody of their parents or guardians pending an appearance in Family Court.

Major James O’Connor of the Area II Operations Bureau said this incident is a reminder of the importance of communication between parents and their children.

“As a parent myself, I can’t stress enough the value of making ourselves aware of what our children are reading, writing and talking about,” O’Connor said in a news release. “A parent’s guidance can reduce or eliminate these potentially dangerous situations.”

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