Police investigate multiple bomb threats at local high schools

Police responded to bomb threats at multiple schools across Massachusetts and one in New Hampshire on Tuesday. 

The Massachusetts State Police issued a statement about the multiple incidents:

The Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal, along with explosive ordinance technicians from other law enforcement agencies, have responded or are currently responding to multiple bomb threats at schools throughout the state today. Some schools have already been cleared. The State Police Bomb Squad and bomb technicians from other police agencies also responded to multiple school bomb threats on Friday. Nothing hazardous was found at any of those schools.

Some of the bomb threats were made by phone. Of those, some were made through automated calls. The specific language of the threats are not being released at this time.

State Police attached to the Commonwealth Fusion Center are assisting the FBI with a coordinated investigation into the source or sources of the threats. The Fusion Center is also compiling information about the threats to share with local law enforcement agencies and fire departments across the state and other Fusion Centers in the United States.

A list of communities with confirmed bomb threats to schools thus far today are: Groton, Weymouth, Taunton, Arlington, Plymouth, Waltham, Ayer, Tewksbury, Newton, Billerica, Swampsott, Boston, Kingston and Westford (Nashoba Valley Tech). Communities with threats to schools confirmed on Friday were Falmouth, Bourne, Mashpee, Plymouth, Weymouth, Arlington, and Boston (Boston College High School).

State Police and the Fire Marshal’s Office remind that the crime of making a bomb threat carries a significant punishment. Massachusetts General Law C. 269 S. 14 (c) calls for a punishment of imprisonment in the House of Correction for not more than 2 ½ years or imprisonment in the State Prison for not more than 20 years, or a fine of not more than $50,000, or by both fine and imprisonment.

Arlington High School 

According to the Arlington Police Twitter account, the students were sheltering in place as a precaution and were then dismissed from the high school. 

"The threat is not thought to be credible but taking all precautions necessary," the police department said on Twitter. 

Police noted that this situation is a separate incident from the threat received at Arlington Catholic High School on Friday. 

Arlington Police received assistance from Boston Police as they investigated the threat. 

Ayer-Shirley High School

Police responded to a bomb threat at Ayer-Shirley High School Tuesday morning. 

Ayer Police said there is no further information into the bomb threat at that high school.

Billerica Public Schools

A bomb threat was received at the Billerica Public Schools on Tuesday. 

Billerica Police and Fire were on scene and conducted a sweep of each building. 

No evidence was found that lends validity to the threat, the schools tweeted on Tuesday. 

There will be a police presence at the school throughout the day. 

Farmington High School, New Hampshire

According to the Middleton, New Hampshire, Police Department, they received notification that Farmington High School had been evacuated. 

All students are currently safe. 

Officials are now on scene. 

Newton North High School

Police responded to a reported bomb threat at Newton North High School around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, according to Newton Police. 

Plymouth South Middle School

Plymouth Police said Tuesday morning students were back in class after the school received a bomb threat. 

Shawsheen Technical High School

According to the school’s Twitter account, they received a phone message indicating a bomb threat. Billerica Police were on scene. 

A threat assessment was conducted and there was no evidence found of a credible threat. 

"We have found no reason to interrupt the day for teachers and students," the school tweeted. 

Swamptscott High School

Around noon on Tuesday, a call came into the main office at Swampscott High School with a recording of a bomb threat, school officials said. 

The threat was assessed by officials who learned that many area schools had also received the same call. 

The school was evacuated 45 minutes early to allow the building to be searched by State Police. 

By 12:30 p.m. the building was cleared of students and staff. 

Taunton Public Schools

According to the Taunton Police Department, Taunton Public Schools received "a spate of threatening automated phone messages" over the past several days. 

On Monday at 11:11 p.m., the Taunton Public Schools received a similar message. The voicemail was retrieved Tuesday morning before school started. 

The Taunton Police Department was contacted and officers were dispatched to the schools. 

Officers and administrators conducted an analysis of the phone message, comparing it to messages received by other school systems in Massachusetts, the Taunton Police Department said. 

It was determined that the comments made in Taunton’s voicemail message were general in nature, not specific to Taunton and did not warrant an evacuation. 

Taunton Police will increase their presence at all 13 schools in the district on Tuesday. 

Tewksbury Memorial High School

Police confirmed on Tuesday there was a threat to the high school. 

Officials are now on scene and said students are safe. 

Waltham Public Schools

City officials say a bomb threat was called into Fitzgerald Elementary School on Tuesday. Students and staff were immediately evacuated to a nearby church and then taken to McDevitt Middle School. 

Soon after, smoke was reported in the elevator room at McDevitt school. All students in the building were evacuated. Fitzgerald students were taken to Kennedy Middle School and McDevitt students were taken to a church. 

City officials say the McDevitt school has been cleared and students are returning. 

Parents are picking up Fitzgerald students. 

Weymouth Public Schools

According to the Weymouth Police Department’s Facebook page, bomb threats were received by telephone at both Weymouth middle schools — Abigail Adams and Maria Weston Champan — on Tuesday. 

Both schools were evacuated. 

Crews walked through the schools and found nothing suspicious. 

"We believe the calls were recordings and delivered through some type of automated call system," the police department said. "We have received information that these types of bomb threats were also received in other jurisdictions in Massachusetts today. At this time we are investigating to see if they are related and if the source of the call can be identified." 

There have also been reports of threats at schools in Groton and Waltham. The FBI has joined State Police in their investigation.

All threats are under investigation.

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