Model bill signed into law by Governor Andy Beshear

Model Laboratory School, located in EKU's Donovan building, has existed since 1906, and is the last remaining model school in the commonwealth.

Ricki Pryor

A senior prank went awry Thursday afternoon when Model Laboratory School officials mistook an item for a bomb.

Now, the students responsible could be facing severe consequences, according to school officials.

Around 4 p.m. Thursday, Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) officials were notified that a “suspicious item” had been located at Model Laboratory School after students had been dismissed for the day.

The discovery prompted a campus-wide alert and calls for evacuation of the school and the areas directly near the facility.

At 5:30 p.m., school officials issued an “all clear” alert and said the item that was found “did not constitute a threat.”

EKU police, as well responders from the Richmond Police Department, Richmond Fire Department, Kentucky State Police, and Madison County EMS were on scene to investigate the item.

More details about the incident emerged Thursday evening at Model Laboratory’s Class of 2023 Recognition Banquet.

According to several parents who attended the banquet, Model Laboratory Superintendent John Williamson addressed the incident during his remarks.

A Model parent provided The Register with a recording of the superintendent’s remarks Thursday evening.

Williamson said the “suspicious item” was part of a senior prank.

“A device, that appeared to look like a bomb, was planted in the building,” Williamson said. “… We had to have the bomb squad come in and do x-rays throughout the building.”

“It’s a very serious matter, in fact, it’s a felony,” Williamson added.

Due to the incident, the superintendent also noted that one student may be facing severe consequences.

“There may be one of you who is not going to be participating in graduation, because it is a felony,” Williamson said.

“Senior pranks that are harmful, destructive — and most importantly, illegal — are not really pranks,” he added.

Williamson noted on Thursday that school officials hoped Model’s Class of 2023 would end their last few days of high school on better terms and encouraged them to embrace a more “harmless” senior prank.

“You all have been an exemplary class, all of your years here, and we want you to go out on that good note. If you can think of something fun and harmless, that’s great, we are all in,” he said.

React to this story:


Trending Video