ST. LOUIS - A western Illinois high school special-education teacher was jailed on paid administrative leave Thursday after being accused of making a bomb threat that forced her school to be evacuated.
Illinois State Police say Michelle L. Smith, 36, of Jerseyville is charged in Calhoun County with falsely making a terrorist threat. Her bond was set at $500,000.
Authorities accuse Smith of leaving a typed letter Monday in a bathroom at the roughly 170-student Calhoun County High School in Hardin. Police said the note said a bomb had been placed in the school, which was evacuated. No explosive device was found.
Smith was arrested the next day.
While declining to discuss Smith's possible motives for the threat or the teacher's tenure with the school, district Superintendent Kate Sievers told The Associated Press that Smith has been placed on paid administrative leave pending a possible special meeting of the school board to address the matter.
"We will take the necessary measures we will need to from this point on," said Sievers. "My staff and students are safe, and Illinois State Police believe they have the right person in custody."