Bomb threat caused evacuation at Westfield’s North Middle School

Students and staff were moved to nearby Southampton Road Elementary School during search

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – Officials reported that a bomb threat was found in North Middle School Tuesday afternoon.

Students and faculty were evacuated from the building by Westfield Police after a bomb threat was found written inside of a bathroom stall on the second floor of the school. Police were notified of the threat at 1:27 p.m., when the school superintendent’s office called and reported it. Parents also received robo-calls about the incident.

“When our officers got there they evacuated them to the Southampton Road Elementary school nearby due to the cold,” Westfield Police Sgt. Jeff Baillargeon said.

Baillargeon said that the note was written inside a bathroom stall with what appeared to be a yellow highlighter, and that the writing was reportedly “barely visible.”

The note reportedly said “There’s a bomb.”

Westfield Police and Fire Departments searched the building with Westfield school officials which yielded no results of any suspicious packaging. A Massachusetts State Police bomb-sniffing canine was also brought to the scene and the crew was unable to find anything, either.

Westfield Schools superintendent Stefan Czaporowski said that the evacuation went as it has been practiced in the past and all protocols and procedures were met by students and faculty.

“The children were safe at Southampton Road Elementary School while they did the search and we had an abundance of administrators there to make sure that it went as smoothly as possible,” Czaporowski said. “The robo-call went out as soon as we had a message from police that there was absolutely no threat and we updated the parents.”

Czaporowski said that the call did not go out until after the police cleared the building in order to prevent difficulties with evacuations and access to the area, which would be difficult to do for emergency personnel if many cars were attempting to make their way to the school.

After the evacuation and clearance by emergency personnel, the students were dismissed for the day, Czaporowski said.