Students at both Pelham Middle School and Pelham Memorial High School were evacuated and dismissed early on Monday, Nov. 20 after a teacher received a bomb threat over email, Pelham Superintendent Cheryl H. Champ announced.
Following the evacuations, both schools were then searched by the Westchester County Bomb Squad with help from K9 units. Luckily, no explosives and no credible threats were found in either building, Champ said.
Police are now investigating the incident and currently believe that the threat was a hoax similar to other incidents that have been monitored by both the Westchester County Real Time Crime Center and the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.
"These incidents are increasingly common for schools locally and across the country," Champ said in a communication to district families, adding, "While the vast majority of these swatting threats are found to be non-credible, it is important that we take them seriously in an abundance of caution to ensure the safety and security of our students and staff."
As a result of the incident, all afterschool activities at the middle school were canceled, and several students were forced to leave personal belongings at school. However, the district is allowing students to stop by the buildings, sign in, and pick up their items until 6 p.m. All other students who cannot make it by then will be able to grab their belongings on Tuesday morning, Nov. 21.
Because both schools have been determined to be safe, they will both open as normal on Tuesday, according to Champ.
"Once again, I want to reiterate that our schools have been determined to be safe and we look forward to having a normal school day tomorrow and closing out the short week with our planned 12 p.m. dismissal on Wednesday," Champ said, also thanking school staff and first responders for their help with the incident.
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