The FBI is assisting Whitman, Hanson and State Police in the investigation of email threats received at three area high schools Monday morning.
“There was a threat that indicated there could be a bomb on a bus,” said Whitman Police Chief Scott Benton. “The buses are kept in Whitman. … We followed the state protocol.”
No explosive devices were found. An “active shooter” threat included in the email has also proved unfounded.
“We had the mechanics pop the hoods to check the engines and undercarriage,” Benton said. “Everything was cleared and the buses rolled.”
Benton said he and Whitman Fire Chief Timothy Grenno, FBI personnel, a State Police bomb technician and dog, bus mechanics and drivers worked together to check the buses so they could be cleared to transport middle and elementary school children later in the morning.
“There’s a joint investigation going on right now with a few departments and federal agencies,” Benton said.
Similar emails were received this morning at Cardinal Spellman High School in Brockton and at Brockton High School, according to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ruth Gilbert-Whitner.
It was the second such threat received at Whitman Hanson in the past month, Benton said. This was the third threat received Brockton High this year, according to published reports.
“On Monday morning, April 13, the Whitman-Hanson Regional High School received an email threat,” Gilbert-Whitner said in a prepared statement that afternoon. “Public safety and school officials met, and the decision was made to cancel classes at the high school. Early Monday afternoon, public safety officials reconvened and determined that the building was safe to open for school on Tuesday. There will be an increased police presence at the high school throughout the week.”
Parents were notified of the situation via an email blast from the School Department early Monday morning.
“Public safety officials are working collaboratively to investigate the email threats,” she stated.
Benton encouraged anyone with information on the threats to contact the Whitman Police Detective’s Office at 781-447-1212.
— Tracy F. Seelye