Students evacuated for investigation of explosive object

OILDALE, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) A 15-year-old student at North High School was taken into custody Friday morning for reportedly having an improvised explosive device in his locker.

"The item is 4- to 5-inches long, cylindrical and appears to contain some sort of explosive powder," said Kern High School District Police Chief Mike Collier.

Principal Alan Paradise said the boy told other students about the explosive device in his locker. At least one of those students then notified administrators. School officials took no chances and evacuated students and staff to the football field as a precaution. The sheriff's bomb squad was called and removed the device rendering it safe.

Worried parents soon began arriving at the school after being notified through the KHSD alert system.
James Bragg said his two sons, a freshman and a junior are new to North High this year.

"The freshman's probably freaking out because he's scared to death," said Bragg.

It's unknown what type of explosive powder was in the device, which had a fuse attached to it.

"My speculation would be that if it did in fact detonate, it could in fact cause injuries," said Collier.

The 15-year-old student was "very upset" said Collier, but was cooperating with the investigation. A search of the student's home is also expected to be made said the police chief. The student is being booked on suspicion of possession of a destructive device and possibly other charges, said Collier.

Classes resumed after a disruption that last around 90 minutes. Still some parents preferred to pull their children out of school for the rest of the day.

The state education code makes possession of an explosive at school grounds for mandatory expulsion. The investigation is ongoing.