Cedar Falls, Iowa, school officials hope caller identification will help prevent prank calls and bogus bomb threats.

After a bogus school-wide bomb threat in early February that disrupted classes, Superintendent Dan Smith said he fielded several telephone calls from parents asking why the district didn’t have Caller ID.

At the time of the threats, the district’s telephone carrier, U.S. West, indicated it was not possible for the district to get ID boxes because it had so many telephone lines. The school district had 80 telephone lines, but only 36 outside lines.

“That created kind of a bottleneck,” said Craig Hansel, the district’s director of business affairs.

The district transferred its service to McLeodUSA. Now with 100 outside phone lines, the schools can receive call tracing functions for no extra cost.

Hansel said the school staff can now punch in a code and determine the telephone number of the most recent caller to the school.

To avoid this function being blocked by a caller, McLeod provided a call trace function which cannot be blocked. That allows school staff to send the caller information directly to the police department.

“Anything that we can do to help improve the safety and the welfare of the students and staff in our building is a positive,” Hansel said.