Vague threats close schools, evacuate courthouse in Thibodaux

THIBODAUX (AP) — Authorities evacuated the Lafourche Parish Courthouse, closed schools early in Thibodaux and put schools in the rest of the parish on lockdown because vague threats were phoned in Tuesday.

The department never treats threats as routine, Thibodaux Police Detective David Melancon said.

Parish school offiicals said a caller Tuesday threatened to harm a child at an unspecified school, the Daily Comet reported. All schools in Thibodaux and St. Charles Elementary School were dismissed for the day. So were the three Catholic schools in Thibodaux.

Melancon said someone who called 911 made threats against city police and parish buildings without naming specific places or using the word "bomb."

Police, sheriff's deputies and the Lafourche Parish School Board are investigating together, he said.

Parish schools outside of Thibodaux were on lockdown for several hours, with classroom and outside doors locked, and school staff making sure nobody entered or left, schools spokesman Floyd Benoit said. He said the lockdown ended early Tuesday afternoon.

Jordan Molaison, 18, and at the courthouse for a hearing, said he wasn't fazed by the evacuation. He said he recently graduated from Thibodaux High School, and it was the sixth joint school-and-courthouse response he's experienced.

His grandmother, Velma Molaison, 71, uses an oxygen tank to help her breathe. She said her grandson had to help her down the stairs for the evacuation. She had enough oxygen for four hours and an extra tank in her truck, but it was in the area blocked off by sheriff's deputies.