Authorities are investigating false swatting calls against schools across the country after several Massachusetts schools were placed in ‘safe mode’ on Monday due to threats.
Amesbury police responded to a threat at the High School just before 12 p.m. and later confirmed it appeared to be a swatting call and that there does not appear to be any danger.
According to a joint statement from the district and police, the threat came in the form of a phone call to Amesbury High School. The caller claimed they had a gun, and then there were noises that sounded like gunshots. The high school was locked down and other schools in the district were placed in safe mode while authorities investigated, but no danger was found.
“This was an unwelcome disruption, but we are all thankful that there is no active threat or danger to our schools. I would particularly like to thank our families for adhering to protocol and trusting us with the safety of their children, staying away from the schools and allowing law enforcement to do their jobs safely,” Amesbury School Superintendent Elizabeth McAndrews said.
School officials in Chelmsford and North Attleboro confirmed their districts received similar calls Monday.
Additionally, Boston police responded to Charlestown High School and East Boston High School Monday when school officials received anonymous reports of an individual unknown to Boston Public Schools with a gun. Both schools were placed in ‘safe mode’ until it was determined there was no threat to the safety of students and staff.
“Our team takes any threats against students and staff very seriously, and these incidents create unnecessary anxiety and stress for our students, staff, and families. This also takes school and city resources away from our communities,” Superintendent Mary Skipper said in a statement. “We condemn this hoax that happened here and in communities across Massachusetts in the strongest possible terms. Our students and staff deserve to work in environments in which they all feel safe, respected and academically challenged, and we will never stop working to build these environments.”
Massachusetts State Police confirmed they responded to a call at the White Oak School in Westfield.
“The Commonwealth Fusion Center is aware of several threats being made nationwide, all of which have been determined to be hoaxes,” according to state police.
The threatening calls remain under investigation.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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