Student charged in bomb plot while tensions rise at Roy High School

Columbine principal met with Hoggan

Published: Saturday, Jan. 28 2012 12:04 a.m. MST

Roy police detectives and school officials in front of Roy High School, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Two students where arrested Wednesday night for investigation of conspiracy to commit mass destruction as part of an alleged bomb plot at the school. Police say the students had elaborate plans to set off explosives at an assembly and steal an airplane.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

ROY — A girl who some students believed reported two fellow students who allegedly plotted to bomb Roy High School to authorities, said she felt threatened Friday while at school.

Police escorted 16-year-old Bailey Gerhardt home from the high school after she said she spent the day in a supervised classroom, away from peers who allegedly taunted her, according to the girl's mother, Dianna Gerhardt.

"If she did go turn them in, she's not being a 'nark,' she's protecting other people in the school," Gerhardt said, adding that she was afraid for her daughter's safety.

Additional security was in place at the school Friday, according to a school district spokesman. Students there were encouraged to notify personnel if they saw or heard anything suspicious.

The tense atmosphere on campus came as charges were filed Friday against senior Dallin Morgan, 18. He was charged with use of a weapon of mass destruction, a first-degree felony punishable by a maximum term of five years to life in prison.

Police did not locate any explosives, but the elements of the charge against him include possessing, displaying, attempting to use, soliciting the use of, or conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction, or that he assisted, encouraged or solicited someone else to do the same. Morgan, who bailed out of the Weber County Jail Wednesday night less than three hours after he was booked, was scheduled to appear in court Feb. 1.

Charges have not been filed against fellow senior Joshua Hoggan, 16, who was taken to Weber Valley Detention Center, a juvenile detention facility, Wednesday night. A spokeswoman would not confirm if he remained at the facility Friday.

According to Roy police, there was more than one person who received threatening texts from Hoggan, hinting of a plan to harm people at an upcoming assembly and warning some students to stay away.

The Weber County School District hand-delivered no trespassing orders to the homes of the two accused in the bomb plot. Both Morgan and Hoggan are prohibited from accessing any district-owned facility. The two individuals are also temporarily suspended from school, district spokesman Nate Taggart said.

Taggart said it is protocol to issue the orders and both students will have the opportunity in the coming weeks to appear before school officials to explain themselves.

Friends and acquaintances of Hoggan expressed both disappointment and support for the teen on his Facebook page. While some questioned Hoggan's motives, one relative said, "he never threatened anyone he's my family I know him he would never do it for real yeah he should not of said any of that stuff but if you have nothing nice to say stay off his page write on your own wall please our family is dealing with enough thank you (sic)."

Roy High School was in session Friday, although some parents and students remained upset about the school's response to the alleged threats and subsequent arrests.

"I think the way the school handled this situation was wrong," said Christy Tobler, a parent of a Roy High School student.

"Kids were not informed, parents were not informed and if this is as big as they claim, kids should have been sent home while the school was being searched. As a parent, I should have been informed of the risk."

Taggart said the Weber School District does not have a policy in place concerning when or how to inform parents during such an event.

A letter from district officials was sent to parents Thursday, informing them that law enforcement was investigating the threats and any potential harm to students. The letter was sent to some parents in the morning and a second updated version was sent to others sometime after noon.

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