Bomb threat prompts lockdown at South Hadley middle school

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Staff Writer
Published: 2/14/2020 3:38:34 PM
Modified: 2/14/2020 3:38:21 PM

SOUTH HADLEY — Michael E. Smith Middle School was placed on lockdown Friday after a reported bomb threat, according to school officials. 

Students were instructed to shelter-in-place after a bomb threat was reported shortly after 10 a.m. while police and fire officials, who had determined that the situation was a “low level threat,” searched the building, according to South Hadley Superintendent Diana Bonneville.

The shelter in place was lifted at 1:20 p.m., according to Bonneville, and classes resumed as usual.

“All students and staff are safe, and no danger has been identified,” Bonneville said in an email statement.

The threat comes a day after a bomb threat was found written on the wall of a girls bathroom at South Hadley High School, prompting an early dismissal at the school Thursday.

Officials called for a shelter-in-place at the middle school because protocols determined that the threat was low, Bonneville told the Gazette. The threat at the high school yesterday was determined to be medium-level at the time.

Bonneville said that the threat at the high school may have prompted copycat behavior at the middle school on Friday, but she does not believe that the incidents are otherwise related.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident at the high school and have narrowed down the suspect pool as they review security footage, according to Bonneville. 

Bonneville is asking anyone with further information to contact the middle school administration and reminded parents in a letter that bomb threats are a felony offense. 

“Not only did they waste valuable police and town resources,” she said of the threats, “they cause unnecessary anxiety for the students.”

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at jvoghel@gazettenet.com.


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