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Monday, 5 February, 2001, 11:36 GMT
Bush alert over pupil's prank
George W Bush
The threats to George W Bush prompted a major alert
A UK schoolboy sparked an international security alert after he sent an e-mail to the White House, threatening to kill United States President George W Bush.

The 14-year-old pupil at Blake High School in Cannock, Staffordshire sent the threats from a school computer.

He was investigated and interviewed by the Special Branch, after the e-mail was intercepted by the US Central Intelligence Agency.

The teenager, whose name has not been disclosed, was not suspended, but was severely reprimanded by the police and school authorities.

A spokesman for Staffordshire County Council said the e-mail was sent in November last year, at the time of the US elections.

'Several involved'

"Several boys were involved in this, but only one was reprimanded by police officers who went to his home," the spokesman said.

The council was in the process of drawing up guidelines for schools on internet security measures, he said.

"We hope to keep incidents like this to a minimum in the future," he added.

The school's head teacher, Heather Bowman, described the incident as "a thoughtless prank".

It proved that, in an electronic age, all communications were traceable and attributable, Mrs Bowman said in a statement.

"The school is well aware of its responsibilities and has good monitoring and security systems in place, which are constantly being updated," she added.

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See also:

02 Nov 99 | Education
Chat room threats 'were a prank'
26 Jan 01 | Americas
White House 'pranks' taken seriously
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