BOSTON (CBS) — As I’m writing this, we don’t yet know who emailed in multiple bomb threats yesterday that resulted in the evacuation of hundreds of people from nine Waltham public schools.

But for the sake of argument, let’s assume it was the work of kids, bored, stupid, or both.

If and when they are caught, what should be our response?

First, let’s stipulate that doing nothing is not an option.

What happened yesterday disrupted the lives of and frightened innocent people, and cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars at least in public resources.

walthamhighschool Keller @ Large: What To Do With Bomb Hoaxers?

A police officer at Waltham High School while students evacuate due to a bomb threat. (WBZ-TV)

State laws vary, but the federal laws dealing with bomb threats are severe.

However, let’s presume we’re dealing with kids. We don’t really want to waste a jail cell on them.

So, what do we do?

I recommend severe public shaming.

Their pictures and names should be widely publicized, not just in a day or two worth of news coverage but for weeks or months, perhaps on billboards.

The perps should perhaps be forced to stand at an exhaust-choked rotary like Bell Circle in Revere, with large signs around their neck detailing their offense and adding appropriate commentary, such as: “I am an idiot who squandered your tax dollars.”

And as a further deterrent, anyone who was an accomplice to their prank should share in the shaming.

Get the word out that this sort of thing is not fun, cool, or consequence-free, but a nightmare for any fool who engages in it.

Kids do dumb things, but aren’t you tired of picking up the tab for them?

Maybe it’s time we started helping them see the light.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

  1. This happened at my school wayyy back in 1976 before things like this made the news. After the third instance, the principal notified the student body that they would have to start adding days to the end of the school calendar because of all the lost classroom time. The hoaxes abruptly stopped.

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