Threats continue; call received at East Millsboro Elementary School

MILLSBORO – The bomb threat wave continued Wednesday morning with calls received at East Millsboro Elementary School and Everett Meredith Middle School in Middletown, Delaware State Police report.

Schools were evacuated or in a lockdown mode with state and local police K9s responding, according to state police spokesman Master Cpl. Gary Fournier. East Millsboro Elementary is located on Iron Branch Road.

The incidents occurred around 10 a.m. this morning.

Anyone with any information in reference to any of these incidents is asked to contact Troop 2 Youth Aid Division at 302-834-2620, Troop 3 Youth Aid Division at 302-697-4454, or Troop 4 Youth Aid Division at 302-856-5850.  Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, via the internet at www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword “DSP.”

There have been more than 30 bomb threats phoned in to schools in Delaware in the past nine days. Threatening calls were received Jan. 11 and Jan. 12 and yesterday, Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Several schools in the Indian River School District have been targets of threats, prompting the following statement from the IRSD:

District addresses recent threats against local schools

In light of a recent string of threats made against schools across the Delmarva Peninsula, the Indian River School District would like to reassure parents that procedures are in place at every school building to insure the safety of their children.

Three district schools have received threats since Jan. 11. Each incident was handled with the utmost competence and professionalism by school staffs. State and local police searched each of the buildings, often with the assistance of a K-9 unit, and the schools resumed normal operations within two to three hours.

Although the credibility of these threats is in question, the district will continue to take all necessary precautions to protect students.

bunting

DR. SUSAN BUNTING

“Every district school has a Comprehensive School Safety Plan that addresses a variety of emergency situations, including bomb threats,” said IRDS Superintendent Dr. Bunting Susan Bunting said. “Staff members are trained on these plans and know their duties when a threat is received by a school. During these recent incidents, teachers and staff did a phenomenal job keeping students calm and orderly during the evacuation and search process.”

“While we understand these incidents are unnerving, we hope parents will trust us to keep their children safe. Comprehensive School Safety plans were developed in conjunction with law enforcement and are designed with one overarching mission – to insure the safety and security of students during various crisis situations. I’d also like to remind parents that every school has an armed security monitor on duty at all times. Some of our secondary schools also have a school resource officer on campus. These individuals provide an additional layer of protection for students on a daily basis.”

During the past two weeks, every IRSD school has implemented additional daily security measures to help assess the validity the threats and determine the proper course of action. The response to a threat may involve evacuating students from the building or having them shelter-in-place in a common area of the school. Schools will consult with local law enforcement and district officials when making these decisions.

“Parents can rest assured that the actions of a few cowardly individuals will not deter us from our business of providing students with a first-class education,” Dr. Bunting said. “I would like to thank parents for their patience, cooperation and understanding during this challenging time. Furthermore, my most sincere appreciation goes out to the staff members of the schools affected by the recent threats. Their professionalism has allowed us to handle these incidents with the least possible disruption.”

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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