Students in several northern New Jersey high schools were forced to leave their classrooms due to a bomb threat Wednesday.
Bomb threats were reported Wednesday at eight schools in New Jersey, according to local media. North Jersey schools received bomb threats in an automated call on Wednesday morning, according to the NorthJersey.com website. Not all were in session: some are on spring break this week.
New Jersey has received threats several times before; in January 11 schools received robo-call messages routed through California that made references to explosives or mass shootings.
Among the schools targeted Wednesday morning were Fair Lawn High School (spring break); Midland Park Junior/Senior High School (in session); Hawthorne High School (in session); Lodi High School (in session), Paramus High School (in session), Dwight Morrow High School in Paramus (spring break) and Passaic Valley High School in Little Falls (in session).
The threats came a day after a presentation at Passaic High School warning students about the consequences of calling in fake threats. There have been eight bomb threats called in to that school so far this year. Wednesday was not one of those days, however: on Tuesday, sappers from the Passaic County Sheriff’s office met with half of the school, and were scheduled to meet with more students on Wednesday.
Schools in Bergen and Passaic counties have been targeted with bomb threats in recent months as well.
Last month classes were interrupted in nine Bergen County districts after schools received bomb threats that turned out to be fake. At least one school was evacuated and several others received “shelter in place” orders. In February five New Jersey schools received bomb threats and at least two were evacuated.
There’s been a rash of bomb threats robocalled into dozens of schools in the eastern United States this week, closing classes and forcing authorities to evacuate schools. Some schools were located as far west as Indiana.
Several schools in Massachusetts also received bomb threats this week. On Monday (April 11), State Police spokesperson David Procopio said “numerous “ threats were received at schools in Hudson, Hopkinton, and Leominster. Cambridge, Marlboro and Brookline high schools also received automated robo-call bomb threats. The schools were evacuated and police swept the buildings. Melrose high school and middle school were also threatened, and faced a temporary “shelter in place” order.
A similar string of robo-call bomb threats were recorded on voice mail in Lake County, Indiana Monday night, prompting the closure of nine schools in Lake County, Indiana for Tuesday. But by the afternoon an unidentified suspect was in custody. The school superintendent said in a statement released later in the day, “It is important to share with everyone that the individual who is in custody did not have the capacity to carry out the threats that were made on the 911 calls.”
Hana Levi Julian