US authorities on Tuesday evacuated at least nine schools in Bergen County, New Jersey after receiving a bomb and shooting threat, several local law enforcement officials reported Tuesday. The evacuated schools are in Bergenfield, Englewood, Fair Lawn, Garfield, Hackensack, Leonia, Tenafly and Teaneck, according to a Bergen County Sheriff spokesperson.
The message was reportedly recorded overnight and “indicated a non-specific threat to the school district involving the placement of a bomb in one of the schools, as well as a secondary threat of a ‘mass shooting’,” police said.
Police in the town of Clifton said “numerous school districts in the area” had received a bomb threat by voicemail early on Tuesday. But Police who were dispatched to Clifton High School found “no credibility to these threats.” They reported nevertheless that “precautions are still being taken throughout the district in response to the situation.”
After the school received a phone threat at 9 AM, Fair Lawn High School students walked three-quarters of a mile to Memorial Middle School to wait out the investigation but have since been allowed to return, according to NorthJersey.com.
All Garfield public schools are in a shelter-in-place lockdown, in which the school day continues, but the buildings are closed to the outside, City Manager Tom Dutch told NorthJersey.com. Anyone entering any of the buildings is searched. The preschool has already been searched by a bomb-sniffing dog, which is going school to school in Garfield.
Students returned to Tenafly High School at 10:15 AM after being evacuated to the Tenafly Middle School. Bergenfield High School was evacuated as was Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood. Students returned to Bergenfield High School in late morning after it was declared safe.
Police in Hackensack confirmed that 5,500 students in the district’s seven schools are being kept on the premises and no one is being allowed in. “Everything is under control and the police are working with us,” an administration official said, according to NorthJersey.com.
Teaneck High School was evacuated to the Richard Rodda Community Center and students’ bags were searched. They were allowed back in school before noon.
The Leonia High School lockdown has been lifted.