Submitted by John Guilfoil on behalf of Town Manager Richard Reed, Superintendent of Schools Jon Sills, Police Chief Robert Bongiorno, and Fire Chief David Grunes
Town Manager Richard T. Reed, Superintendent of Schools Jon Sills, Police Chief Robert Bongiorno, and Fire Chief David Grunes are providing an update on this morning’s investigation into a threatening email received by the school administration.
Bedford High School Principal Henry Turner received an email early this morning, which contained a bomb threat against the school. The school department activated its crisis protocol, notifying the Bedford Police Department School Resource Officer and Superintendent of Schools Jon Sills. A response was then coordinated with Bedford Police and Fire.
While the threat did not appear to be credible, officials, acting out of an abundance of caution, decided to evacuate the high school, especially after learning that Bedford, N.H. had received a similar threat.
With the help of our faculty and staff and the excellent behavior of our students, the high school had a quick and orderly evacuation and relocated everyone to John Glenn Middle School, nearby.
At the same time, Bedford Police activated the the Northeast Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) School Threat Assessment and Response System (STARS) protocol, which brought in specially-trained law enforcement officials and school administrators from several other communities to assist Bedford.
The State Police Bomb Squad, Department of Veterans Affairs Police, and the Hanscom Air Force Base K-9 Unit also responded.
Given the disruption in the school day, and considering that Wednesday was a previously-scheduled early dismissal day, the decision was made to begin sending students home at 10 a.m. The school department sent out an alert message to notify parents about the situation.
“I am very proud of the way our faculty, staff, and students handled the disruption of their school day,” Superintendent Sills said. “This was an unfortunate situation, but we are thankful that no one was hurt, and the evacuation and dismissal proceeded in a very calm and orderly fashion.”
After-school activities and sports were cancelled on Wednesday. Classes and activities will resume a normal schedule on Thursday.
The investigation yielded no explosives or other dangers. By early afternoon, Bedford Police gave the “all-clear.”
“Our sincere thanks goes out to all of the first responders who came to Bedford today, as well as to our faculty, staff, students, and parents for their patience and cooperation,” said Richard T. Reed, Town Manager.
The threat is under investigation by Bedford Police, working with State Police and Federal law enforcement authorities. Bedford Police do not believe that the threat originated from a local source.
“The availability of so many resources, from the NEMLEC STARS team to the State Police to our Air Force and Veterans Affairs neighbors, to respond to Bedford proved to be a tremendous force multiplier in making sure today’s situation was handled in an orderly, safe manner,” Chief Bongiorno said. “We are grateful to them and to all of our residents for their cooperation today. We will work with our partner agencies to aggressively investigate this case.”